International Department
1930s-era Jewish gangster

Berlin Jewish Elections Stir Controversy Over Identity. Jewish Bulletin of Northern California, May 30, 1997
"Jewish community elections in Germany are rarely covered in the German media. But the upcoming election in Berlin on June 1 has catapulted the city's Jewish community into the national media spotlight. The stories center on real estate scandals, alleged financial mismanagement of community funds and embittered personal rivalries among community officials. The reports, which cast a shadow on the integrity of some leading members of Germany's largest Jewish community, come just two years before the German government is scheduled to move most of its offices from Bonn to Berlin. Jewish leaders worry that if the negative publicity continues, it could weaken community structures and damage the political influence of Berlin's Jewish community in the German capital."

Councillors Jailed for Vote-Rigging Scam That May Have Cost Labour Control of Hackney. The Independent [Great Britain], April 21, 2001
"Two councillors were jailed yesterday for a massive vote-rigging scandal that may have cost Labour control of a London authority. Police said the plot in the borough of Hackney by the Conservative Isaac Leibowitz and the Liberal Democrat Zev Lieberman was probably the largest attempt to 'subvert the democratic process' yet seen in Britain. Leibowitz, 36, was jailed for six months and Lieberman, 29, for four months after Judge Jeremy Connor said their 'enthusiasm for public office' led to fraud and a violation of the election process. They engineered a 2,000 per cent increase in proxy voting, registered Americans as local voters and tricked pensioners into handing over voting rights."

Paris Jews Worry About Image After Some Are Accused in Scandal. JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency), March 5, 2001
"A major scandal has hit the heart of Paris' heavily Jewish clothing district. The affair's ingredients include a pyramid scheme, $80 million, 12 of the 124 accused fleeing to Israel, charges of anti-Semitism and one of France's most popular films. The defendants, a majority of whom are Jews from Morocco and Tunisia who came to France in the 1960s immigration wave, are store owners accused of having swindled French banks for loans to buy non-existent goods. The affair blew open last month when a vast pyramid scheme, which some suggest has been going on for decades, came tumbling down after a series of bank loans were defaulted ... The scheme ended when police began searching for shop owners who had not paid their loans, prompting several of the accused to flee for other countries, including Switzerland and Israel. But the case took on a different tone as the French government accused Israel of knowingly harboring fugitives, despite having signed an international extradition pact. 'By intentionally pursing this policy, Israel removed itself from the family of nations,' said French prosecutor Francois Franchy."

Poland's Jewish Community Grappling with Scandal.
Jewish Bulletin of Northern California, April 30, 1999
"The Jewish community in Poland is being wracked by a scandal that has forced the country's umbrella Jewish organization to fire its treasurer and downgrade the status of the Jewish communities in Gdansk and Poznan. It involves what the Union of Jewish Communities in Poland termed 'very serious financial irregularities' committed by Gdansk Jewish community Chairman Jakub Szadaj, as well as a 'slanderous campaign' Szadaj has conducted in the mainstream media against the union's board and other Jewish organizations. 'It is an extremely unpleasant, depressing and destructive situation,' Stanislaw Krajewski, a member of the union's board, told JTA from Warsaw. 'The Polish press has begun to report that the Jews are quarreling over money' ... Jewish organizations tried to keep the affair quiet, but after Szadaj was removed from his position as the local JDC-sponsored social relief worker in Gdansk, he gave an interview to a Gdansk newspaper."

Prague Jewish Leaders May Sue Over Charges of Theft.
(Jewish Telegraphic Agency), August 2, 2001
"Jewish leaders here are considering legal action over a book published in the United States claiming that huge sums of money 'disappeared' from the Jewish community's coffers over a period of several years. The allegation — which appears in the 1999 book 'The Great Jewish Cities of Central and Eastern Europe: A Travel Guide and Resource Book to Prague, Warsaw, Crakow & Budapest' — was dismissed by the Prague Jewish community, which said its reputation was being damaged. The book's author, New York-based writer Eli Valley, worked in Prague's community for several years organizing cultural and religious events until 1997. In the book, he argued that Prague had become one of the wealthiest Jewish communities in Europe through money received from restituted properties and tourist revenues. He also wrote, 'The enormous amount of capital flowing into the Community has created unprecedented opportunities for corruption and mismanagement. It is an open secret in the Jewish Community that millions of Czech crowns disappear every year. The question remains as to how many individuals are involved in the disappearance.' One million Czech crowns is currently worth about $25,000 ... Valley, the son of a New York rabbi, expressed surprise that the community was contemplating legal action."

Montreal Assailed for Jewish Mob-Member Focus.
Jewish Bulletin of Northern California, June 6, 1997
"Canadian Jewish groups are demanding an apology from a French Montreal daily for a story they claim is anti-Semitic. The article focused on Royal Canadian Mounted Police arrests of Jewish members of a criminal organization, even though most of the group is not Jewish. The story in the newspaper La Presse ran Wednesday of last week under the headline, 'RCMP Strike a Deadly Blow to a Jewish Criminal Organization.' It described a criminal group led by Montrealers with Jewish-sounding last names. These men, Morris Mayers and Shimon Ben-David, were charged along with Mahmood Hassan and Thomas McKinnon, but La Presse focused on the Jewish identity of the organization. Only seven of the group's 31 members, also suspected of smuggling drugs, are said to be Jewish ... The league sent a letter to Claude Masson, La Presse's assistant publisher, demanding a published apology .... But Masson defended his paper's coverage. 'I think we're playing with words a bit,' he was quoted as saying. 'I think we should be careful about being so politically correct that we can no longer say what is happening in our society.' Masson did say he would reserve judgment until meeting with representatives of Jewish groups. But he pointed out that the leaders of the criminal group have been identified as Jewish by the RCMP, which stated that the main leaders have Jewish or Israeli connections."

What you Won't Read About Michael Harari, Noriega's Israeli Advisor Who Got Away.
Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, February
"In the spring of 1988, when Colonel Herrara first broke with [Panama dictator Manuel] Noriega and took refuge in Miami, he said of Michael Harari: 'We call him 'Mr. 60 Percent' because he gets that much from any deal that he makes.' Harari took kickbacks from Israeli businessmen seeking to invest in Panama, and split the proceeds with Noriega. Just how profitable that was is indicated by a Panamanian Jewish leader quoted in the Washington Jewish Week of Dec. 28: 'The Israelis working here do not, by and large, reflect well either on Israel or the Panamanian Jewish community. They have practically gained control of the Central Avenue business district. They are engaged in contraband and money laundering. In general, they engage in very aggressive and often unfair business practices. They mainly keep apart from the Jewish community, and have little interest in Panama. They are here to make a lot of money and get out.' ... 'We are seen as disloyal by many,' complains Moises Mizrachi, a businessman who heads the Panamanian committee of the B'nai B'rith Anti-Defamation League ... Explaining his fears, Mizrachi told the Washington Jewish Week: 'It is certainly true that the Jewish community did prosper under the dictatorships (from 1969 to the present). The Christian businesses were largely displaced by Jewish businesses.'"

Royal Scammer Linked in Banker Fraud Case. Middle East Times, December 26, 1999
"A complex financial malpractice scandal unfolding in France and involving Moroccan and Jewish businessman is starting to involve actors uncomfortably close to the royal family of Morocco. The Moroccan palace said on December 18 that the royal family had no link with Fouad Filali, the former husband of a princess, who has been questioned as a witness to the suspected money laundering case in France."

Embargo Busting: Serb Economy Stays Afloat with the Help of Criminal Network. Wall St. Journal, [posted here at], June 7, 1994
"Yugoslavia's descent into widespread criminality began two years ago with a pair of textbook pyramid schemes. Jezdimir Vasiljevic, a man with Elvis sideburns who had earlier brought chess grandmaster Bobby Fischer out of seclusion, and Dafina Milanovic [Jewish?], a woman with a taste for wide-brimmed, floppy hats and gaudy gold jewelry, opened banks in Serbia promising to pay up to 15 percent monthly interest for foreign-currency deposits. Both were frequently seen hobnobbing with top Serbian politicians, and their banks' initial interest payments received sensational coverage in the government-controlled media. The money flowed in ... Apparently, it also flowed right back out. Though some was used to pay interest to depositors, most of it went to fuel the Serbian war effort and to finance companies outside Yugoslavia that helped flout sanctions. After a year of operation, both banks collapsed, having defrauded Serbs of at least $2 billion in foreign currency. Mr Vasiljevic, popularly known as 'Jezda the Boss,' fled to Israel and later gave an interview to independent Belgrade Studio B television in which he admitted to smuggling arms for the Yugoslav army."

Ukrainian Parliament Grants Immunity to Fugitive Former Premiere. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, February 13, 1997 [scroll down page]
"Legislators voted 253 to 19 to grant former acting Prime Minister Yufim Zvyahilsky immunity from arrest if he returns to Ukraine within two months, Reuters and Russian Public TV reported on 12 February. Zvyahilsky took refuge in Israel in 1994 after being accused of embezzling $25 million in public funds. Israel turned down Ukraine's request for his extradition two years ago. Zvyahilsky has repeatedly claimed that his political enemies made the embezzlement charges."

Jewish Bank Figure Detained in Moscow
JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency), May 9, 1997 [scroll down JTA page]
"The head of a large Russian bank who is also a prominent member of the country's Jewish community has been detained in Moscow on suspicion of embezzling more than $120 million. Arkady Angelevich, who heads Moscow's Montazhspetsbank and is a member of the presidium of the Russian Jewish Congress, has been held in prison for two weeks. Under Russian law, Angelevich can be held for 30 days without being formally charged. During a search of Angelevich's apartment, officials with the Interior Ministry allegedly found incriminating documents, $55,000 in cash and $1 million worth of jewels. Angelevich was arrested on the way to the airport, where he was planning to leave for Israel, according to news reports."

The Sour Notes of Scandal. Warsaw Voice, May 5, 1996
"Prosecutor Krzysztof Wnuk has a bit of work to do. Head of the investigation into Poland's biggest financial scandal in half a century, Wnuk must sift through 200 volumes (70,000 pages) of documents. 'This is the hardest case I've ever been involved with," he says. "It's more than a single man can handle.' Three colleagues are also on the case, but the workload is still considerable. The case involves Andrzej Gasiorowski and Boguslaw Bagsik, owners of the Art-B company. Gasiorowski is still free, living in Israel, and Bagsik is in a Warsaw prison, accused of bilking the government out of trillions of (old) zlotys and then moving to Israel once the investigation against him was opened."

French Trial Reportedly Ordered for Soros. Associated Press [posted at], December 23, 2000
"An investigating magistrate has ordered the American financier George Soros and three others to stand trial next year on charges that they took part in a 1988 insider-trading scheme involving shares of a French bank, Société Générale, which had been privatized the previous year, people close to the judiciary said today. Charges against seven other people were said to have been dropped. It was not immediately clear what specific charges the four defendants would face. French magistrates have been investigating the case for 12 years."

Ronson's Risk. The Independent [Great Britain], October 18, 2000
"Earlier this year [Jewish London real estate mogul Gerald Ronson] was voted "property personality of the year" by the readers of magazine Property Week, despite terrorising scores of hapless surveyors with his gruff temperament for the past 30 years ... The fruits of his labours came as standard-issue business tycoon toys: a luxury yacht, a private jet (with the call sign G-GAEL after his wife Gail, a former model), a fleet of expensive cars and a giant house. Then, suddenly, his life was turned on its head when he was implicated in the Guinness share-rigging scandal and jailed. On release, Mr Ronson faced near-bankruptcy but he staged a remarkable recovery, summoning a delegation of some of the world's richest men to bail him out. Today, Mr Ronson is back at the top of his game with plans to build a £300m skyscraper in the City of London and develop a network of 20 entertainment complexes across Europe."

Israel Refuses to Extradite Alleged War Criminal. Ukrainian News [posted by the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association], December 2-15, 1998
"Israel, on Dec. 7, refused to extradite an accused war criminal to face trial in Poland, stating that the statute of limitations had run out on the case and Canada's Ukrainian community has reacted with fury. A Dec. 7 Associated Press story carried by several Canadian newspapers, among them The Toronto Star and The Calgary Herald reported that Israel's Justice Ministry had refused to extradite Solomon Morel, who commanded a camp for German prisoners in southern Poland, allegedly tortured inmates and was considered responsible for at least 1,538 deaths. Poland requested Morel's extradition in April on charges of beating and torturing prisoners and creating inhuman conditions at the Swietochlowice camp, which he commanded from February to November 1945, stated AP ... 'The Canadian government can denaturalize and deport people without even proving that these individuals committed any crime. But Israel has a statute of limitations for war crimes. Shame on Canada and shame on Israel,' wrote Mary Radewych of Etobicoke, whose father Vasyl Odynsky faces deportation even though the government has not brought any charges of war crimes against him, in a letter to The Toronto Star."

Kohl's Stricken Party to Expel Former Minister. The Independent [Great Britain], January 18, 2000
"The former German chancellor Helmut Kohl's interior minister was last night set to become the first victim of the widening party financing scandal, as Christian Democrat leaders called an emergency meeting and hinted that heads were about to roll. Manfred Kanther, who embodied the Kohl government's tough stance on law and order, is accused by his colleagues of having known about the illegal transfer of party funds to secret Swiss accounts ... Mr Kanther had claimed that the money from Switzerland and Liechtenstein had come from Jewish benefactors."

Israeli Banks Under Investigation in France, Jerusalem Post, December 30, 2001
"Three of Israel's five leading banks are under investigation by French authorities as part of a larger, ongoing probe of a money-laundering network between France and Israel. The network used Jewish charitable institutions and cultural institutions based in France to process illegally-acquired money. An executive from Bank Leumi France SA is among those under investigation, alongside workers from Israel Discount Bank and the First International Bank of Israel according to recent reports. In November French officials said there were some 80 suspects in the case including six rabbis. Six people are reportedly already in jail."

11 Convicted in Paris Fraud Believed Here,
Jerusalem Post, January 30, 2002
"Eleven of the 88 people who were found guilty, fined, and sentenced to up to seven years in jail at the end of the biggest fraud trial in France are believed to be in Israel. They are among 13 who were tried in absentia. Another 36 were acquitted. The defendants were convicted for defrauding banks and insurance companies of 82 million euros in a case centered on Paris's mainly Jewish garment district. The fraud involved using fake invoices to secure bank loans in 1996 and 1997. Wholesalers pretended to sell goods to a retailer in exchange for time bills. The bills were immediately discounted at a bank. The retailer then folded or vanished. This apparently simple scheme was complicated by its size and the involvement of several bankers in France and Israel. According to the court, accommodation bills and fraudulent checks were sent from France to several Israeli banks, among them the First International Bank of Israel ... Several lawyers criticized the heavy-handed attitude of the investigating judge, Isabelle PrZvost-Deprez. She has been accused by some of those prosecuted of being motivated by anti-Semitism. According to a conservative estimate, more than 75% of those found guilty are Jewish; some hold Israeli citizenship. Haim Weizman, the man prosecutors said organized the fraud, was sentenced in absentia to seven years in prison. He is believed to be living in Israel."