FBI: 17 charged with defrauding Holocaust survivor program

BROOKLYN - Seventeen people from Brooklyn have been charged with defrauding a program meant for survivors of the Holocaust out of millions of dollars, according to the FBI.

The FBI says the 17 suspects used Employees of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany, also known as the "Claims Conference," to carry out their scheme.

The program is supposed to process and approve legitimate applications of Jewish survivors of Nazi-persecutions who need help.  Instead, the FBI says people inside the scheme approved 5,500 fake applications, then shared the money with the people they got to fill out the fake applications.

The suspects are facing fines of up to $250,000 or more for their role in the alleged scheme. They can also receive up to 20 years in prison if convicted. 

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