Sara Netanyahu the wife of Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was convicted of fraudulently using public funds by Judge Avital Chen at the Jerusalem Magistrates Court on Sunday, 16 June 2019.
Under a plea bargain agreement, Sara Netanyahu admitted to falsely declaring there were no chefs at the PM’s residence and claiming $99,300 to order outside meals between September 2010 and March 2013.
Her overspending charges were reduced to $50,000, and she has agreed to pay $2,800 in fines and return about $12,500 to the state.
Surprisingly although her husband is a millionaire Mrs Netanyahu asked to pay her fine in monthly instalments beginning in September. After the verdict was announced, Netanyahu told the judge: “I have suffered enough.”
The initial fraud charge was replaced with “obtaining a benefit by deliberately exploiting the mistake of another person”.
“Despite the fact that cooks were employed at the residence the accused instructed staff at the residence, as a matter of normal practice, to order prepared meals from restaurants for herself, her family and visitors.”
In 2016 a court awarded some $47,000 in damages to a former housekeeper who accused her of repeated workplace abuse in a similar case.
Separately, Benjamin Netanyahu is facing possible indictment for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in the months ahead.
In a Facebook post late Saturday, the Prime Minister declared his wife a “real heroine” who was “a punching bag for the media.”
Picture of Sara and Benjamin Netanyahu