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Sara Netanyahu is indicted for fraud and breach of trust in food scandal

She and an aide were charged for the ordering of private meals worth NIS 359,000 ($100,000) for high-end restaurants with the state paying for the bills between 2010 and 2013.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, leave Israel for Davos. Credit: Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, leave Israel for Davos. Credit: Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife, Sara, along with a former aide, was indicted on Thursday by Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit and State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan in the so-called “Prepared Food Affair.”

According to the indictment, Sara Netanyahu and Ezra Saidoff, a former deputy director general of the Prime Minister’s Office, were charged with fraud and breach of trust for the ordering of private meals worth NIS 359,000 ($100,000) for high-end restaurants with the state paying for the bills between 2010 and 2013.

“The defendants worked together to obtain funding at the state’s expense for catered meals from restaurants, while receiving the services of a full-time cook at the residence, who was falsely presented as a cleaner, in violation of procedures and rules and by receiving double funding at the state’s expense for the catering expenses,” the indictment said.

“The defendant abused her position as the prime minister’s wife towards all the relevant elements, including the defendant [Saidoff], the residence’s caretakers and other employees. The defendant [Saidoff] abused his position and responsibility as a senior public servant, breaching the trust that was entrusted to him.”

The indictment came following reports that a plea deal with Netanyahu might be near, where she would admit to wrongdoing and reimburse the state for some of the expenses, but ultimately no deal was reached.

The trial for Sara Netanyahu is expected to be held this fall after the Jewish holidays; if charged, however, she is unlikely to face jail time for the charges, according to The Jerusalem Post.

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