Bella Freytor // Source: NYTimes.com

The New York Times carried an article today about Tuesday’s bust, involving some 17 Russian-Americans – most or all of whom lived in Southern Brooklyn – and their scummiest of scumbag attempts to bilk Holocaust survivor funds. In it, they go inside a building on Brighton 12th Street where documents were made or altered. From their reporting, it appears knowledge of their misdeeds were widespread, and they had approached many neighbors about participating in the scheme.

The Times reports:

The authorities came early on Tuesday, entering the six-story apartment building on Brighton 12th Street in the heart of Brighton Beach, Brooklyn.

They headed upstairs, stopping at the fourth-floor apartment where Tatyana and Abram Grinman lived. The Grinmans, especially Tatyana, were known in the building; neighbors said she had approached many of them, asking if they wanted to participate in a program that would give money to Holocaust victims.

“She gave me papers to fill out because my mother and father lived in the ghetto,” said Bella Freytor, who lives upstairs from the Grinmans. “She said I keep $1,000 and she keeps $3,000,” her fee for handling the application.

… Ms. Freytor said she received a check in the mail for about $4,000, cashed it, kept $1,000 and turned over the rest to Ms. Grinman. She said her husband also submitted an application and received money. She said Ms. Grinman approached many people in the building and participation was widespread.

“Now I know she cheated,” Ms. Freytor.

… 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.

Ms. Freytor’s account of the kickback scheme jibes with details in the indictment. A confidential witness told F.B.I. agents that she provided copies of her Social Security card and passport to Ms. Grinman. The witness then “cashed the check, kept $1,000 and gave the remainder of the money to Tatyana Grinman,” according to court papers.

The defendants face 20-year prison sentences if convicted of the top counts. When Mr. Bharara was asked whether participants like Ms. Freytor would face charges, he said, “the investigation remains open.”

… Pat Singer, who calls herself the “mother of the neighborhood,” lives in the Grinmans’ apartment building and also runs the Brighton Beach Neighborhood Association, where she helps people fill out forms for entitlement programs. She posted the names of the 17 defendants on the front window of her association’s storefront.

“People who really deserve the money will now be looked at cross-eyed because of these morons,” she said. “We’ll have to live this down for the next 100 years.”

Janet Veksler, who also works for the association, expressed shame that Russian Jews were accused of perpetrating the fraud. “I had a feeling this was my people,” she said, recalling her reaction after hearing the news. “I was just mortified.”

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  • http://twitter.com/nicktherat nick the rat

    what assholes! we should throw these guys into o… jail!

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

      I hope they seize all their assets, including offshore ones. I’d hate for them to get a few years in jail and walk out laughing ’cause they were able to hide their stash.

      • nazihunter

        People, what are you so upset about? “fraudsters” got the money from the nazi bastards. the fbi press release said that no actual holocaust victims were harmed or denied of money as a result of this “fraud”. As long as the recipients of the loot were Jews- i am all for it, as all the Jews are victims of the german bastards. every Jew has a family member that was killed or suffered…. If anything we should get more $$$ from germany anyway we can..

        • Vekshinata

          yeah, right. You all have to get $ no matter whether you deserve it or not. How about paying compensation from your taxes to every black person in America (you know, their ancestors were slaves… gotta pay for it.) Or how would you feel about paying to every palestinian (your guys kicked them out from their territories). You, Jews, amuse me. everyone owes your something.

          • nazihunter

            we are paying to blacks. Isn’t that what welfare, medicaid and affirmative action is for? with regard to palestinians- not all were not kicked out. most of them had barren lands that were bought from them by the Jews. The others that were kicked out- that’s just collateral damage from the muslims that support terrorists.

          • levp

            Yes, about that Medicaid and welfare… I wonder, which ethnicity in Sheepshead Bay/Brighton Beach are the biggest recipients of these programs?

            But, as I mentioned in my earlier comment, please continue!

            We are now back to bad muslimz, just as I predicted in the very beginning:
            http://www.sheepsheadbites.com/2010/11/local-scammers-bilk-holocaust-survivor-fund/#comment-95985272

            The circle has been completed!

          • nazihunter

            LOL, so bad muslims are the root of the “evil” that was perpetred by the alledged “fraudsters” against the nazis? mazal tov! Leva – u r the best!

          • Holly

            Well, that’s just plain ignorant.
            I’m gonna go fix myself a drink now.

          • Brightonresident

            You are an idiot… anti semite.
            Read your history– Who sold those slaves to the traders? They didn’t just go to Africa and pick up a bunch of people, the fellow tribesmen sold them!

        • Vekshinata

          yeah, right. You all have to get $ no matter whether you deserve it or not. How about paying compensation from your taxes to every black person in America (you know, their ancestors were slaves… gotta pay for it.) Or how would you feel about paying to every palestinian (your guys kicked them out from their territories). You, Jews, amuse me. everyone owes your something.

        • http://twitter.com/nicktherat nick the rat

          people pretending to be holocaust survivors to get money. nothing is worse than a complete douchebag getting undeserved sympathy.

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

          That’s just sick. There is a limited amount of money, and it was not intended to enrich criminals,

          • nazihunter

            how is the money limited? Presss release said no actual victims were denied of any funds… The only “victim” was the german government – so screw them, who cares?

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            Sorry, criminals are criminals. Germany is a different country than it was 65 years ago. Your attitude is disgusting.

      • Barmaley75

        I seriously doubt they have any assets outside of the US.
        Soviet Union made sure to strip all emigrants off their assets.

        • mishka

          like they had any… a bunch of towels and down pillow.

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

          They certainly do now. Criminals don’t keep their ill gotten gains in US financial venues. That would be foolish. There are several dozen small countries who make most of their GDP from being tax havens and places to stash ill gotten gains.

          • mishka

            Do you really think these idiots from Brighton stash their holocaust money offshore? You overestimate food stamp recipients.

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            That is idiotic. People who steal millions of dollars don’t put it in a Chase account.

  • Furious

    “involving some 17 Russian-Americans”

    PLEASE! These people are Jewish, who happened to be from Russia (I didn’t see a single Russian last name in that article).
    Why Russians have to bear the stigma for this shit, if these people are Jewish?

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

      Were they not from Russia?

      • Anonymous

        just because they are from russia, doesnt make them russian. those are ashkenazi – germanic last names… freytor, grinman, veksler.. etc. also in russia, these people were not seen as russians.

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

          I’m probably part Mongolian. As are a number of Swedes. My material grandmother had jet black hair and other physical traits associated with that race. But Swedes are Swedes.

          There are a multitude of various ethnicities in what comprises the totality of Russia.

          • levp

            Lisanne,

            Don’t bother. Search for a “pure Russian” (pure Ukrainian, Estonian, etc.) has been and still is (more than ever) a national pastime in the former Soviet Union.
            See, for instance, Russian Federation Country Specific Information at the U.S. Department of State:
            http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1006.html#crime

            “CRIME: Racial and ethnic minorities continue to be victims of unprovoked, violent harassment throughout the Russian Federation. The U.S. Embassy and Consulates General continue to receive reports of U.S. citizens, often members of minority groups, victimized in violent attacks by “skinheads” or other extremists. Be cautious in areas frequented by these types and wherever large crowds have gathered. U.S. citizens most at risk are those of African, South Asian, or East Asian descent, or those who, because of their complexion, are perceived to be from the Caucasus region or the Middle East. These U.S. citizens are also at risk for harassment by police authorities.”

            I also have a personal interest in seeing this discussion play out to it’s fullest extent: family Thanksgiving dinner. That is, when some of my relatives will again start talking about how Obama is their enemy #1, choice quotes from this (and some related threads) will help me temporarily restore limited sanity in the room.

            Besides, everyone knows that “Sweden a Perfect Example of Socialism Run Amok” (at least according to newsmax.com). So you can’t use something that evil as an example!!

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            And Sweden had socialistic leanings even when my grandparents lived there over 100 years ago. The Swedes that emigrated to the US were considered to be dangerous with their penchant for organizing trade unions and getting involved in other progressive causes. Damn Troublemakers!

      • Wakarimasan

        they were jewish who live in the US for god knows how many years. Not only they steal money from their own people, but they also rip off your medicare, medicaid, social security, etc.. Don’t you know how those smart Jewish people share money received from insurance with doctors for fake procedures, how they share money with their home attendants? If you guys don’t know, Your grandma from Brighton surely does.

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

          My grandparents are long dead. And they lived in what they now call Sunset Park.

          I’m not Jewish, but I find anti-Semitism disgusting. As I find all forms of bigotry offensive. People commit crimes because of their nature, not because of their ethnic or religious background.

    • Anonymous

      They may be Russians – But they’re sure not as hell Americans!

      • Anonymous

        i hope you are being sarcastic, but was the same said of al capone? or how about timothy mcveigh?

        • Anonymous

          I was being sarcastic, but with every bit of humor there is always some truth. I wouldn’t consider Capone or McVeigh to be Americans either. They’re scum.

          As for Obama, I hope you were being sarcastic as well.

      • http://twitter.com/nicktherat nick the rat

        you are dreaming if you are an american

    • Anonymous

      i dont know which rock you have been under, but russian speaking jews have been doing some shady shiz. does the name boris sachakov ring a bell?

      • furious

        that’s why I don’t want them to be called Russians. Russians are better than that.

        • Resident of Southern Brooklyn

          Russian (yeah, Russian in a way you would like to use that word) kid had murdered Bill Cosby. Another Russian kid had ambushed a gay kid off the Belt Parkway with his cohorts, causing the kid to try to escape and getting hit by a car.
          These people are crap, but so are any criminals of any nationality or ethnic origin.

          • barmaley75

            sorry, I meant Bill Cosby’s son, not Bill Cosby himself.

    • http://twitter.com/nicktherat nick the rat

      when has a religion become an ethnicity?

    • vasya

      you are right, hazerim don’t have the brains for this kind of an operation…

    • Brightwater

      They are Russian like you are Russian. They are Russian Jews and you are a Russian Asshole. Or just a plain Asshole.

      • Furious

        at least I don’t steal from my own people… And don’t take money that I am not entitled to… If it makes me asshole, whatever.

        • Guest

          you are not an asshole, u r russkiy, v zhope uzkiy, lol

    • Valtsvayner

      holy shit dude

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CIXKMWVRUVBKQ4CT75NB5BAEBU Death

    We can only be sure of one thing,

    G-D will Judge them All. (if there is such a thing that is)

  • Gene2

    Guys.. no need to attack specific group of people… Russians.. or Russian Jews.. or Americans… Or African -Americans.. Or native-Americans, come on. Just like I said in the previous post.. These kind of people will roll over anything or anyone to get to money! No matter who they are. Fuckers!

  • Barmaley75

    disgusting….. especially coming from our community where there are many many real Holocaust survivors (my wife’s grandma had survived Ghetto in Romanian occupied part of Ukraine).

  • fed up with this

    Outrageous!!! Lets keep letting the Russians into America hand them food stamps, free housing so they can suck us dry. I really do not get this…..it is quite obvious that if you can afford Gucci handbags, Chanel coats that you do not need food stamps!!!!! Why do I have to pay with real money and these arrogant slime bag wastes do not have to pay for ANYTHING!!!!!!!! This has been going on long enough. We have to uproot all or Brighton, Coney Island, Kings Hway shake them down and we will get rid of alot of medicare and medicaid fraud. You do not have to be an FBI undercover agent to find them …..I see them everyday

  • David Cohen

    The Claims Conference should have outsourced its claims processing years ago. There are many excellent firms who specialize in this work. It would have cost far less, the firms have sophisticated fraud protection in place like the credit card companies, and if g-d forbid something like this happened, they would have had insurance to pay the money back to the fund or other survivors. Let’s face it – if the attitude was not so haphazard and lackadaisical at the top of the Claims Conference – this never would have happened.

    Are there criminal background checks on all employees, are their fingerprints checked against the FBI? These are all standard in the claims processing industry.

    The proof is in the cholent (excuse my metaphor) if someone’s job depended on getting this done perfectly – it would be done perfectly. The evidence is in – nobody’s job depends on the safeguarding and accurate processing of the claims – because if it did – there would be many terminations of senior executives at the Claims Conference – and there are not.

    They treat this like a personal business with no client who demands excellence – instead of the sacred trust that it is.

    Hire a PR firm to make excuses – great…..But where is the fix?

    I say – outsource processing to insured and bonded professionals and save money for the survivors and programs!
    .