April 27, 2012
Toronto woman charged in Holocaust claims case
A woman living in Toronto was charged in the United States with taking part in a scheme to steal from a Holocaust survivors’ fund.
Documents obtained by the CBC, the state-owned broadcaster, show that the FBI alleges Luba Kramrish was part of a conspiracy that falsified documents to claim money from a special fund created by Germany after the Second World War.
The fund, administered by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, was earmarked for Holocaust survivors who fled parts of the Soviet Union ahead of advancing Nazi troops, and those who survived ghettos and concentration camps.
Last year, the FBI announced charges against several U.S. citizens allegedly involved in the scheme.
Kramrish is alleged to have falsified details for her mother’s application to the fund and that once she realized how to cheat the system, began recruiting some two-dozen other applicants. A court document states that “Kramrish provided documents for approximately 20-25 different cases. [She] helped falsify these applications so that they would be approved.”
The indictment says Kramrish took a cut of every payout.
The conspiracy to steal from the fund was uncovered in the U.S. just over two years ago. The investigation is still underway, but it is estimated that at least $60 million has been siphoned from the fund.
About $6 billion has been paid out to about 450,000 survivors since the funds were made available.
Kramrish’s Canadian lawyer declined comment to the CBC.