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Ringleader Found Guilty in $57M Fraud at Claims Conference

By: JTA

Semen Domnister, the former Claims Conference employee who was charged with leading a $57 million fraud scheme at the Holocaust restitution organization, was found guilty Wednesday by a U.S. District Court jury in Manhattan after a four-week trial.

Domnitser and two others, Oksana Romalis and Luba Kramrish, were found guilty on all counts., and 28 others charged in the fraud scheme have pleaded guilty.

“To have it all come to closure is extraordinarily important,” Greg Schneider, the executive vice president of the Claims Conference, told JTA. “We’re obviously very happy that justice has been served, but focus on the needs of Holocaust survivors has always been our main priority.”

The fraud was discovered in 2009 and dated back to 1993. It involved falsifying applications to the Hardship Fund, an account established by the German government to provide one-time payments of approximately $3,360 to those who fled the Nazis as they moved east through Germany, and the Article 2 Fund, through which the German government gives pension payments of approximately $411 per month to needy Nazi victims who spent significant time in a concentration camp, in a Jewish ghetto in hiding or living under a false identity to avoid the Nazis.

Jury deliberations Wednesday took just a few hours.

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2 Responses to “Ringleader Found Guilty in $57M Fraud at Claims Conference”

  1. Anonymous says:

    An anonymous letter sent to the Claims Conference’s Frankfurt office in 2001 identified five cases where restitution was approved for ineligible claimants. I have the guts to say they are a much of thieves. I am a child of Holocaust survivors. For years I have yelled and screamed that there has been hanky panky going on while Holocaust survivors were denied their due. How stupid are we not to protest? A lot of people belong in jail. Holocaust survivors are going without food and medicine while the thieves play with their funds. If you agree with me , speak out. I call on all Holocaust survivors and their children and grandchildren to demand retribution now. I am not afraid to speak out. The claims conference in my opinion is corrupt or at least inept. Soon the holocaust survivors will all be dead. How much more money will be stolen.

    Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg

  2. Anonymous says:

    anti-SEMITISM IS ALIVE AND WELL. The message below was a comment on my complain t against the holocaust claims conference. We need the J.D.L. Rabbi Meir Kahana was correct. Regarding the fellow who called me , bring it on you gutless mamzer. I will not go to the gas chambers without a bloody FIGHT. THIS HAS BEEN REPRTED TO THE POLICE AND F.B.I. AS A BIAS THREAT. Do you have the guts to debate me on t.v. or go some rounds in the gym. THIS IS ONE Jew who will knock you out in three rounds. RABBI DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG

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