Lod Resident Apprehended for Issuing Phony Kashrus Certificates


kosherA Lod resident who sold phony kashrus certificates marked, “This business is under the supervision of Beis Din Tzedek Bnei Yisroel, headed by HaRav HaGodol Menashe Belker,” and was caught and convicted of issuing phony kashrus certificates in the past, was arrested this week for the third time after again producing fake certificates.

After his release from jail several years ago he decided to get a new start, opting to make use of his “understanding of kashrus matters” by starting a “mehadrin” kashrus organization bearing his name. He sold kashrus certificates for thousands of shekels to restaurant and bakery owners. The first time he got caught, Belker managed to persuade the police to let him go, but the second time he was held trial on criminal charges.

During the course of his trial Belker promised the judge of the Rechovot Magistrate Court that he understood the severity of his deeds and had mended his ways. In handing down his sentence the judge explained that the crime perpetrated warranted a severe punishment, but based on the defendant’s claims he had already done teshuvoh the judge elected to show leniency, ordering him to do just three months of community service.

This week Belker was arrested for the third time following a joint operation involving the Central Region’s Fraud Department and the National Unit for the Enforcement of the Kashrus Fraud Law.

Various kashrus organizations claim the matter should be treated with great severity since it was not an instance of fraud alone, but caused a large number of people to stumble and created a dangerous precedent.

{L.S. Wasserman-Deiah veDibur}