Sara Netanyahu, wife of Israeli leader, charged with fraud

Sara Netanyahu, wife of Israeli leader, charged with fraud

June 21 (UPI) — The wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was charged Thursday with fraud and breach of trust over the alleged use of state funds for food and private chefs.

Sara Netanyahu, 59, was indicted with Ezra Saidoff, a former deputy director general of the prime minister’s Office.

According to the indictment, Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife instructed staff to order gourmet meals worth nearly $100,000 between 2010 and 2013. Sara Netanyahu also used nearly $10,000 in state funds to pay for private chefs, prosecutors say.

The charges say she tried to conceal employment of chefs and was aware that ordering meals from the outside was a rule violation, and asked staff to hide the chefs “so that this won’t be found out by the Treasury and the office manager.”

Benjamin Netanyahu might also face an indictment announcement in the coming months.

Thursday’s indictment is the latest in a series of scandals the Netanyahus have faced in recent months.

Earlier this year, a recording of Sara Netanyahu yelling at a family publicist over a gossip column was leaked. She was ordered to pay tens of thousands of dollars to two workers last year who accused her of bullying.

Recordings of Netanyahu’s son, Yair, were also released in January that alluded to his father helping a friend’s father, gas tycoon Kobi Maimon, make a $20 billion gas deal.

In 2015, the Netanyahus came under fire for spending thousands in public funds on their weekend home in Caesarea — including “hundreds of thousands of shekels” on take-out meals, despite having a private cook and spending $2,500 a month on ice cream alone.