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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Wife of Israeli ambassador to Chile admits to padding expenses

The wife of Israel’s ambassador to Chile was reportedly forced to confess and apologize to embassy staff for allegedly inflating expense reports by several thousand dollars. An investigation into financial discrepancies led officials to her and her husband.
Ambassador David Dadonn, who denied any knowledge of the embezzlement while it was happening, also told staff that he condemned his wife’s actions, according to a report from Haaretz on Sunday.

“Examinations revealed irregularities involving reimbursement of expenses and for reasons of confidentiality we will not disclose the identity of the people,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Yigal Palmor said. “The case is being dealt with by the Foreign Ministry according to the appropriate procedures.”

Several months ago workers at the embassy in Santiago reported back to Jerusalem that they suspected that the ambassador and his wife were embezzling funds. An initial review of the matter found discrepancies between receipts and expense reports for events in the ambassador’s home. 

The Foreign Ministry internal auditor, Jacob Keidar, sent a representative to Santiago to look into the matter and further investigation raised questions about $5,000.

The ambassador’s wife at first claimed that disgruntled workers were trying to set her up but, when faced with irrefutable evidence, she admitted that she was behind the fraud. She insisted her husband knew nothing about it.

According to the report, although the money was returned, the culprit was forced to admit her transgressions before the entire staff of the embassy, apologize for her actions, and apologize for accusing others of trying to set her up. Dadonn then added his own condemnation but repeated that she had acted without his knowledge.

In the coming days the Civil Service Administration will decide whether to take the matter to the police, Army Radio said.

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