Holocaust fund scammer gets a year in jail

A Russian Jewish immigrant was sentenced to a year and a day in jail for scamming thousands from a fund benefiting Holocaust victims.

Polina Anoshina, 63, of the Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn, N.Y., also received two years probation when she was sentenced Aug. 8 in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

Anoshina was the first to be sentenced among 19 caught in the FBI investigation for participation in the scam; nine have pleaded guilty. She is not a Holocaust survivor.

Judge Deborah Batts also ordered Anoshina to repay $105,000 to the Claims Conference, an organization that distributes the restitution made by the German government to Holocaust survivors. Anoshina made $9,000 through fraudulent claims to the Claims Conference, and also assisted in the theft of $105,000 — part of a larger $42.5 million scam run on the program that authorities say dated back to 1993.

Prosecutors told the court that Anoshina had recruited 30 people to take part in the scam, and that she was the only person in the criminal ring who helped a non-Jewish person receive fraudulent money.

Anoshina’s attorney, Mark Zawisny, argued that his client was “a very small part of a very large wheel.” — jta