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The Schmooze

Leader of Egyptian Jewish Community Goes MIA

Roman Polanski, step aside: If we believe the Egyptian press, there’s another elderly Jew on the lam – only this time, no minors and no sexual misconduct are involved. Just a whole lot of cash.

Over the weekend, JTA reported that Carmen Weinstein, the leader of Egypt’s dwindling Jewish community, was MIA and had allegedly fled the country after a fraud conviction.

Weinstein, 82, received a hefty fine and a three-year jail sentence after a July 10 conviction that found her guilty of swindling an Egyptian businessman out of half a million dollars during a real estate transaction. (She claimed that documents used as evidence of the building sale were forged.)

The reports of her escape originated in the Egyptian media (one paper, according to a Ynet article, suggested that Israel had helped her flee), but Rauf Fuad Tawfiq, the Jewish community’s secretary, denied those allegations. He told Ynet that Weinstein had left to visit the U.S. before the ruling and was planning to return to Egypt soon.

Egyptian security services have not been able to locate her.

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