Lawyer sentenced to prison for defrauding Holocuast survivors

70-year old lawyer sentenced to 1 year in prison, fines, after defrauding Holocaust survivors seeking compensation from Hungary.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Jail Cell
Jail Cell

The Be'er Sheva Magistrate Court sentenced to prison attorney George Selage, 70, whose license to practice law was revoked in 2011 following complaints from customers that he had taken advantage of his position to defraud Holocaust survivors.

According to the complaint, Selage filed claims for compensation from the German Government on behalf of at least 13 Holocaust survivors. However, he prepared affidavits and adopted the survivors signatures without meeting with them or receiving their permission.

Selage also submitted documents to the District Court in Be'er Sheva to receive official confirmation, according to which the documents were held illegally in Israel and then passed to his partner abroad. He then received a total of 128,000 shekels (approximately $33,500).

In his ruling, Judge Ron Solkin found that the prosecution had proven the existence of the circumstances which caused harm to the Holocaust survivors, the amount of the fraud, the size of the salary received for acts of fraud, abuse of trust, fabricating evidence, and perjury.

As part of sentencing phase, the prosecution filed the statements of the survivors, according to which they had contacted Selage to receive their compensation from the government of Hungary, but they did not receive their compensation.

The prosecution stressed the severity of the harm caused to the elderly Holocaust survivors, and noted that Selage had planned to defraud them in advance. It asked for the imposition of a prison sentence for Selage.

The court accepted the prosecution's arguments. "These elderly Holocaust survivors, who live their entire lives under the shadow of the Nazi regime, and even though total of the funds stolen from any one of the victims is not that high,relatively speaking - it question of funds that may be significant for the elderly people and would be used to support them in their last years."

The court added that "there is no pardon and no forgiveness for the damage done to these victims."

Selage was sentenced to a year in prison, plus probation and fines. He was required to pay 15,000 shekels ($3930) in damages to each of his 13 victims.