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Fraud: FBI Raids Jew Schools

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More than 300 Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents have raided dozens of Jewish schools in New York State in connection with a fraud investigation involving the theft of millions of dollars of taxpayer cash.

The FBI investigation is centered on the “E-rate” program, which funds the purchase of technology equipment and Internet service by schools and libraries.

However, the orthodox Jewish schools—Yeshivas—which were the subject of the raids—eschew computers and the Internet, a contradiction which alerted the FBI to malfeasance at the institutions.

 

According to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA), the FBI raided charedi Orthodox yeshivas and technology vendors that serve them in Brooklyn, Rockland County, and Orange County during March this year, and will announce charges in due course.

FBI agents, search warrants in hand, entered the offices of the yeshivas and vendors in Rockland County and the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, demanding they account for technology purchases for which they billed the federal government.

Agents were seen walking out with boxes of documents and computer hard drives.

A 2013 investigative report in the New York Jewish Week revealed that the charedi Orthodox yeshivas, particularly chasidic ones, in Rockland County and Brooklyn “disproportionately benefit from the program even though few offer their students or teachers Internet access.”

In 2011, Jewish schools were awarded 22 percent of the E-rate funds in New York State, even though they enroll only 4 percent of the state’s students.

That year, of the $30 million approved for E-rate purchases at almost 300 New York Jewish schools participating in the program, nearly $9 million went to ten Jewish schools.cont

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