They blame it on “management failings” which were responsible for “facilitating” $57 million in fraud perpetrated against the Conference of Material Claims Against Germany over 16 years. This has all of the markings of a deficient board that is covering up, management that could run amok, and few internal controls that could stop such massive mischief.
A report, written by Ombudsman Shmuel Hollander, pointed to “systematic failings and problematic organization behavior” as the background to the failure to discover and stop years of approvals of fraudulent restitution claims. In a blistering critique of the corporate culture of the Claims Conference, Hollander stated that “the absence of professional control systems... constituted a key factor in enabling, and certainly in facilitating, the fraud.” The fraud was organized by conference employee Semen Domnitser, who served as the director of the conference’s Hardship Fund.
The controversy surrounding the Holocaust restitution organization centers around a 2001 tip-off letter sent to the conference that resulted in two internal probes...one of which found no wrong doing. Had the allegations been “properly addressed and investigated thoroughly by an independent and professional functionary in New York, it is highly probable that the information supplied could have led to the discovery of the missing links in the chain of command and the breaches of procedure which Mr. Domnitser and his partners used to their own advantage to perpetrate their crimes,” the ombudsman wrote.
After public pressure, organizations such as the Jewish Agency and World Jewish Congress and several members of the board, there were calls for an independent investigation.
Nonprofit Imperative gathers its information principally from public documents...some of which are directly quoted. Virtually all cited are in some phase of criminal proceedings; some have not been charged, however. Cites in various media: Featured in print, broadcast, and online media outlets, including: Vermont Public Radio, Miami Herald, National Public Radio, Huffington Post, The Sun News, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Wall Street Journal (Profile, News and Photos), FOX2, ABC Spotlight on the News, WWJ Radio, Ethics World, Aspen Philanthropy Newsletter, Harvard Business Review, Current Affairs, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, St. Petersburg Times, B, USA Today Topics, Newsweek.com, Responsive Philanthropy Magazine, New York Times...and many more Nonprofits: On the Brink (2006) Silence: The Impending Threat to the Charitable Sector (2011), Answers,