The New York Times heads to Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, a Russian Jewish enclave, to talk to a few of the Holocaust survivors who unwittingly participated in the alleged conspiracy to defraud two Germany-sponsored reparations funds of over $42 million. Bella Freytor, whose parents were survivors, was approached by Tatyana Grinman, who told Freytor to fill out an application for $4000, keep $1000, and pay Grinman—who has since been arrested along with her husband and 15 others—$3000 as a fee.
Reports the Times:
The scheme used a number of ruses, according to prosecutors. In some instances, the applicants’ actual experiences would be tailored to fit the requirements of the fund; in other instances, a person’s real name and Social Security number would be submitted, but with a fabricated age and life story.
It was not clear to Ms. Freytor how or even if her application or that of her husband’s was doctored; she said they gave their information in good faith, received a check and paid Ms. Grinman for her services.
Says Brighton Beach resident Zlota Portnaya: “I was in the ghetto, and I have problems now because of these people.”