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$42 Million Swiped from|Holocaust Funds, Feds Say

MANHATTAN - More than a dozen people conspired to defraud a fund for Holocaust survivors of $42 million, federal prosecutors say. Employees and trustees of the fund are among the 15 defendants, who are accused of running the scam for the past 16 years.

The defendants, many of them Russian, conspired to recruit bogus claims against the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, according to the unsealed complaints and depositions of FBI agents.

One complaint names only Faina Davidson as its defendant/conspirator. She had been an employee of the Holocaust Claims Conference since October 1991. She paid coconspirators $100 or so to get Jewish recruits, often from the Russian enclave of Brighton Beach, according to the complaint.

An FBI agent says in this complaint that Davidson often approved applications in a matter of days, while honest workers might take months to investigate a case. This case mentions two cooperating witnesses, who were arrested and then cooperated with the FBI in hopes of obtaining lenient sentences.

A second complaint, against Rozaliya Brodetskaya, claims Brodetskaya secured copies of identification documents that were used to prepare fraudulent applications.

The third complaint is against these defendants: Semen Domnitser, Valentina Romashova, Polina Staroseletsky, Polina Berensom, Polina Breyter, Liliya Ukrainsky, Galina Trutina-Demchuk, Marina Zaytseva, Dora Grande, Polina Anoshina, Abram Grinman, and Tatyana Grinman.

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