Sara Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister's Wife, Is Charged With Fraud

Sara Netanyahu indicted for falsely charging state $100k for meals

The indictment charged that Sara Netanyahu and a government employee misused state money by obtaining $100,000 for catered meals while falsely claiming the prime minister's residence did not employ a cook.

Cohen has previously said that Netanyahu's defenses regarding food orders made in 2010 and 2013, when Naftali was not at the Prime Minister's Residence, were that those accusations related only to around NIS 134,000.

Investigators have evidence that shows that Sara Netanyahu sought to hide the employment of a cook at their home and knew that ordering the meals violated rules, Haaretz reported.

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Israel's Attorney General Avihai Mandelblit filed the indictment Thursday afternoon after much speculation over whether she would in fact be charged over evidence that she had fraudulently spent over $100,000 on gourmet meals and outside caterers at the public's expense.

While the prime minister was not directly implicated in the case, the indictment against Sara Netanyahu threatens to embarrass the long-serving leader and brings back attention to his own legal problems.

Netanyahu, a high-profile presence at her husband's side throughout his lengthy time at the helm, has denied any wrongdoing.

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"They're dealing with the most important things in the world", he told supporters at a rally, "the procedure for replacing a light bulb, trays of food, the cup of tea that was served to her father, a righteous man, on his deathbed".

The prosecution also indicted Seidoff, the former Prime Minister's Office deputy director-general, on Thursday for the same offenses as Netanyahu, while adding the offense of falsifying documents and with a total fraud amount of NIS 393,000 (approximately $108,000).

Now the prime minister's wife faces a trial. The Israeli prime minister is himself embroiled in a series of corruption investigations but has protested his innocence and vowed to remain in power, saying he is the victim of a witch-hunt.

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Police have been investigating both of the Netanyahus over suspected corruption or fraud, with allegations that the prime minister traded favors for bribes from wealthy businessmen.

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