Sara Netanyahu convicted in prepared meals fraud case

Sara Netanyahu at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s Policy Conference in Washington, D.C., March 4, 2014. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Sara Netanyahu, the wife of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was convicted of intentionally making use of another’s error after in a case that accused her of ordering $96,000 worth of meals from high-end restaurants rather than using the cook at the prime minister’s residence to prepare her food.

The confession to taking advantage of someone else’s mistake, instead of the more serious fraud allegation, is part of a plea deal that Sara Netanyahu signed in late May.

She will pay $15,210 as part of a fine and of restitution, and now has a criminal record.

The state also can file a civil lawsuit to get Netanyahu to force the return the rest of the money, under the deal.

Sara Netanyahu violated the regulations that prevent those living in the residence from ordering meals from the outside when there is a cook on staff. The violations occurred in 2010 and 2013.

The investigation began in 2015 after the State Comptroller’s Office issued a report on the Netanyahu family household expenses.

Ezra Saidoff, a former caretaker at the prime minister’s residence who also faced charges in the case, under a separate plea deal will pay a   fine and perform community service.