US/World News

Israeli police say they have evidence of alleged fraud on Sara Netanyahu

(JTA) — A probe into alleged fraud and misuse of public funds at the Israeli prime minister’s residence yielded evidence that police said may support a conviction against Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife, Sara. The probe concluded Sunday was initiated last year amid claims that Sara Netanyahu expensed services provided to her family for their private use, falsely claiming it was for the residence, which is not owned by the Netanyahus and whose maintenance is paid for by the state. She has denied any wrongdoing. Her husband is not a suspect.

In a statement, police said the evidence has “beeen transferred to the Jerusalem District Prosecutor’s Office, which accompanied the investigation, for review and further action.” A police spokesperson added that there had been established “an infrastructure of evidence” that police say may support prosecution and possibly a conviction, according to the news site nrg.

The probe followed the publication of a 2015 report by the state comptroller on the residence that said Sara Netanyahu expensed food and garden furniture purchased by the Netanyahus for their private residence in Caesarea, declaring them as pertaining to the official one in Jerusalem. Another matter that police investigated was the employment of Avi Fahima, an electrician who worked on the Caesarea home, by the Netanyahus. Police believed he was registered on the books of service providers to the Netanyahu residence under an alias, possibly because he is a Likud member who knows the Netanyahus – making his employment seem untoward. Furthermore, his employment log indicates him as having worked for the Netanyahus on Saturdays and even on Yom Kippur, raising suspicions the assignments were fictitious.

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