Staten Island Jewish Cemetery Scam Artist Ilana Friedman Must Pay Back $1.1M

Gets 5 Years Probation for Theft at United Hebrew

By JTA

Published November 01, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

A woman who pleaded guilty to stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from a Staten Island Jewish cemetery paid $1.1 million in restitution as part of a civil settlement agreement, and was sentenced this week to five years’ probation.

ny state

Ilana Friedman, a paid board member who together with her husband Arthur Friedman operated and controlled the nonprofit United Hebrew Cemetery for almost two decades, pleaded guilty in April to a felony count of second-degree grand larceny.

Arthur, who at different times served as superintendent, president and chairman of the board was not criminally charged, but court papers said he “failed to exercise proper oversight” and “failed to implement adequate internal controls.”

In addition to diverting $850,000 in cash from the cemetery, Friedman, 52, and her husband, 56, charged tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of goods and services for their personal use on the cemetery’s credit cards. In 2010, the last full year both were on the cemetery payroll, the Friedmans’ collectively drew over $540,000 in salaries, according to tax forms.

The Friedmans, who own homes in Brooklyn and Florida, are now barred from working in the funeral and cemetery industries in New York State. Ilana Friedman’s probation requires her to “lead a law-abiding life, find suitable employment and avoid disreputable persons,” according to the Staten Island Advance newspaper.

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman prosecuted the case in response to a referral from the state Division of Cemeteries.


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!
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
  • Are Michelangelo's paintings anti-Semitic? Meet the Jews of the Sistine Chapel: http://jd.fo/i4UDl
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • How can 3 contradictory theories of Yiddish co-exist? Share this with Yiddish lovers!
  • "We must answer truthfully: Has a drop of all this bloodshed really helped bring us to a better place?”
  • "There are two roads. We have repeatedly taken the one more traveled, and that has made all the difference." Dahlia Scheindlin looks at the roots of Israel's conflict with Gaza.
  • Shalom, Cooperstown! Cooperstown Jewish mayor Jeff Katz and Jeff Idelson, director of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, work together to oversee induction weekend.
  • A boost for morale, if not morals.
  • Mixed marriages in Israel are tough in times of peace. So, how do you maintain a family bubble in the midst of war? http://jd.fo/f4VeG
  • 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.