Netanyahu's Wife Sentenced for Misusing State Funds

Sunday, 16 June, 2019 - 12:45
Asharq Al-Awsat

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife, Sara, appeared in court on Sunday to admit criminal wrongdoing over misusing state funds to order catered meals, in a plea bargain carrying no jail time.

Under the agreement, a fraud charge was reduced to a lesser offense and she will pay the state up to $12,490 in reimbursement and a $2,775 fine, Reuters reported.

According to the original indictment, Sara Netanyahu, along with a government employee, fraudulently obtained from the state more than $100,000 for hundreds of meals supplied by restaurants, bypassing regulations that prohibit the practice if a cook is employed at home.

At the hearing, a judge ratified the plea deal, convicting her of the criminal charge of intentionally exploiting another person’s mishandling of state money for her own benefit, after prosecutors dropped the more serious offense of fraud.

“Do you understand what you admitted to?” the judge asked Netanyahu, 60. “Yes, I do,” she replied.

In 2016, a court ruled Sara Netanyahu mistreated a housecleaner and awarded the man $42,000 in damages.

According to the Associated Press, other employees have accused her of abuse, charges the Netanyahus reject.

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