Worker Gets 18 Months in Claims Conference Scam

Polina Breyter Ordered To Pay $500K Restitution

By Reuters

Published October 19, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

A former caseworker for an organization that aids survivors of Nazi persecution was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison Friday for her participation in a $57 million fraud scheme.

Polina Breyter, an employee of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany, also was ordered by U.S. District Judge Thomas P. Griesa in Manhattan to make restitution of nearly half a million dollars.

Breyter, 69, of Brooklyn, New York, processed false applications and recruited ineligible applicants for reparation programs in exchange for payments, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement. She pleaded guilty in May to conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

Breyter “played a central role” in the scheme against the organization that lasted more than a decade, Bharara said.

The Claims Conference administers programs sponsored by the German government to victims of Nazi atrocities.

Thirty-one people have been charged in the scheme, including 18 who have pleaded guilty, the statement said.

At least $12 million went through 3,839 apparently fraudulent applications submitted for people who were not eligible for a “Hardship Fund,” including many born after World War II, according to U.S. Attorney Bharara. The fund makes a one-time payment of $3,500 to those who evacuated their homes and were forced to become refugees.

Conference employees are supposed to confirm that applicants qualify for payments. The fraud included doctored documents.

Another 1,112 cases processed for a program known as the “Article 2 Fund” were fraudulent, resulting in a loss of another $45 million, Bharara said.

The Article 2 Fund pays $400 a month to survivors who earn under $16,000 a year and either lived in hiding or under a false identity for 18 months, lived in a Jewish ghetto for 18 months, or were held for six months in a concentration camp or forced labor camp


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • “I don’t want to say, ‘Oh oh, I’m not Jewish,’ because when you say that, you sound like someone trying to get into a 1950s country club, “and I love the idea of being Jewish." Are you a fan of Seth Meyers?
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.