February 11, 2010
The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference) recently discovered that it was victimized by a fraud perpetrated against the Hardship Fund, which is funded by the German government.
The Claims Conference was outraged upon determining that a fraud was committed and acted swiftly and decisively to notify law enforcement authorities and the German government and to immediately suspend further payments from the Hardship Fund. Payments from all other programs and services that are provided for Nazi victims, such as homecare, have not been affected. Additionally, legitimately eligible Hardship Funds claimants will be paid.
The Hardship Fund makes one-time payments of €2,556. It was established in 1980 through Claims Conference negotiations. More information is available at www.claimscon.org/hardshipfund. The Claims Conference continues to work closely with law enforcement officials as they investigate this matter. Conference Chairman Julius Berman has also formed a Task Force to examine this issue and provide specific recommendations going forward.
The full extent of the fraud is unknown pending the completion of the investigation.