Semon Domnitser Gets 8 Years for $57M Holocaust Claims Conference Fraud

Closes Book on Case That Sparked Leadership Crisis

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By JTA

Published November 05, 2013.
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Semen Domnister, the former Claims Conference employee who was found guilty of leading a $57 million fraud scheme at the Holocaust restitution organization, was sentenced to eight years in prison.

Domnister, 55, was sentenced Monday in Manhattan federal court.

He was also ordered to forfeit $59,230 and pay restitution in the amount of $57.3 million.

Since 2010, a total of 31 individuals have been charged with participating in the scheme to defraud the Article 2 Fund and Hardship Fund programs, which Domnister directed.

Twenty-eight defendants pleaded guilty and three—Domnister, Luba Kramrish, and Oksana Romalis—were convicted in May after trial. Kramrish was sentenced on September 20 to 37 months in prison, and Romalis is scheduled to be sentenced on November 26.

The fraud was discovered in 2009 and dated back to 1993. It involved falsifying applications to the Hardship Fund, an account established by the German government to provide one-time payments of approximately $3,360 to those who fled the Nazis as they moved east through Germany, and the Article 2 Fund, through which the German government gives pension payments of approximately $411 per month to needy Nazi victims who spent significant time in a concentration camp, in a Jewish ghetto in hiding or living under a false identity to avoid the Nazis.


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