The Worst Scam of All?

News Item:

“Millions of dollars meant to help survivors of the Nazi holocaust instead were stolen and fraudulently given to thousands of people who were not eligible for the funds, Justice Department officials said.

The FBI said insiders who were responsible for verifying claims at the Conference On Jewish Material Claims instead helped commit a massive fraud.  Investigators said in exchange for kickbacks, the employees signed off on bogus applications submitted in part by Russian immigrants who falsely claimed they had lost their homes and belongings during the Nazi era.

Officials said Semen Domnitser was one of the alleged ringleaders who signed off on fraudulent applications from more than 4,000  people.  In all, more than $40 million in funds provided by the German government meant for survivors was stolen or is unaccounted for, prosecutors said.

One of the funds allegedly ripped off was the “Hardship Fund” which pays approximately $3600 in a lump sum to individuals from the former Soviet Union and other Eastern European countries who can show they lost their homes and were in hiding during World War II.  Other victims can claim payments up to $21,000 annually if they can show they lived under harsh conditions during the Nazi-era.”

All frauds and scams are unethical, but some are worse than others, even worse than the money involved suggests. The multi-level heartlessness and cruelty of this particular kind of fraud cannot be over-stated. It isn’t just that donated funds are taken away from people who need and deserve it, to feed the greed and sociopathic tendencies of predatory scum. These kinds of scams destroy the trust generous people have in charities, and make it more difficult for charities to raise money, no matter how worthy the cause.

Taking money intended to help Holocaust survivors.

It’s hard to go much lower than that.

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