EDITOR'S NOTE: Rabbi Israel Singer who is implicated in this Shoah business scandal has close ties with the Vatican.
Holocaust Cash Went To Shadowy Pal Of Ousted WJC Leader
Israeli finance minister, now being probed for corruption, urged death camp tour group to hire little-known N.Y. consultant; [Israel] Singer friend Curtis Hoxter can't explain what he did for $709,000.
Larry Cohler-Esses and Ran Dagoni
The Jewish Week
An internationally known Holocaust education group disbursed, apparently illegally, more than $700,000 to an associate of an Israeli cabinet minister now under investigation for corruption, a joint investigation by The Jewish Week and the Israeli business daily Globes has learned.
In 2003, March of the Living, a New Jersey-based charity, began payments totaling $709,000 to Curtis Hoxter, who is also closely tied to former World Jewish Congress leader Israel Singer. The group began its payments to Hoxter the same year Singer was instructed to stop funneling unauthorized payments to him via the World Jewish Congress, payments that had by then totaled $657,600.
During this time, Singer was also involved in negotiations to join Hoxter's Manhattan public relations firm as a partner.
David Machlis, president of March of the Living, told The Jewish Week that it was Avraham Hirchson, the group's founder and now Israel's minister of finance, who introduced Hoxter to the group and urged his hiring. Hirchson, a key partner of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, "suspended" himself last week as finance minister pending the outcome of a police investigation. He is suspected of embezzling millions of dollars in Israeli health care and union funds prior to taking his cabinet position.
Hirchson's Tel Aviv attorney, Yakov Weinrot, confirmed it was his client who brought Hoxter to March of Living. But, said Weinrot, Hirchson "did not realize his salary would be so big." Weinrot emphasized that March of the Living was a "independent entity," though Hirchson founded the group and ran it for many years.
Singer was forced out of the WJC in March after being removed from positions of financial responsibility there in 2006---the year an investigation by then-Attorney General Eliot Spitzer found Singer and Elan Steinberg, executive vice president of WJC's American Section, responsible for financial mismanagement of the group. Steinberg, who left WJC in early 2002, was gone for much the period during which Hoxter received his payments.
Kasper, Ratzinger, and World Jewish Congress' Bronfman and Rabbi Israel Singer who is implicated in the above mentioned Shoah business scandal