Australian Chabad rabbi Yossi Engel apparently will face 17…
…criminal charges related to defrauding Australia's government.
Rabbi Engel to face 17 counts
ADELAIDE's Rabbi Yossi Engel has been reported on nine counts of false pretences and eight counts of deception in relation to funding applications made by a South Australian Jewish school to the state's Ethnic Schools Board.
Police said that since Rabbi Engel, 41, was put on report on June 3, moves have begun to prepare a prosecution brief and he will be brought before the courts to answer those charges.
A court date will be determined once prosecutors have examined the brief, which can take six to eight weeks.
Police told The AJN they did not find any reason to arrest the rabbi, and preferred to issue a report of his alleged offences to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) office.
Police said that after the DPP's office has assessed a brief of evidence, Rabbi Engel is likely to receive a summons to appear in court for charging.
A 10-month investigation, headed by Detective Senior Constable Stan Tsoulos of the Adelaide Criminal Investigation Branch, which has interviewed more than 50 people, is set to continue, and a second person linked to the case is likely to be reported to the DPP's office next week.
In July last year, two school reports sighted by The AJN, dated 2001 and 2003, both allegedly carried Rabbi Engel's signature as teacher. One of the reports was allegedly co-signed by Rebbetzin Chana Engel as teacher.
Police told The AJN today that the alleged offences "relate to the filling out of forms and applications submitted to the Ethnic Schools Board in order to receive funding".
Rabbi Engel has remained in Adelaide after a protracted row with his former employer, Adelaide Hebrew Congregation, over his termination, which was settled in the synagogue's favour last year when the South Australian Supreme Court ruled that his contract with AHC had ended.
Rabbi Engel first came to Australia from the United States as a Chabad shaliach in the 1980s and worked in Sydney's Chabad community before returning home.
He returned to Australia to begin his job as the AHC's rabbi in 1998.