Claims Conference chairman Julius Berman continued to deny having any knowledge of fraud being conducted within his organization prior to 2009 – only hours before JTA reported on Wednesday that he and other senior executives had launched a probe into the matter in 2001.
According to documents obtained by JTA, Berman’s law firm, Kaye Scholer LLP, launched a 2001 probe that failed to expose the ongoing theft on the orders of Berman and then-executive vice president Gideon Taylor. Speaking during an exclusive interview with The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday morning, Berman said that “neither the board nor the chairman of the board, nor anybody around the board, including the senior staff, was aware of it in 2009.”
He also praised the Claims Conference for how it handled the matter of the fraud once it was exposed, saying the US Attorney’s Office “went out of the way, which was unusual for the US Attorney, to thank us for our cooperation.”
Berman’s statement is consistent with the conference’s official narrative, in which Karl Brozik, then the organization’s director in Germany, led an investigation into allegations that New York-based conference employee Semyon Domnitser had approved five fraudulent restitution claims. Brozik subsequently closed the investigation.