Charity Commission will look into case of Jewish businessman who owed millions


The Charity Commission has announced that it will look into the case of a Jewish businessman who is to pay back just £500,000 on a £600 million debt owed to more than 30 creditors – including Jewish charities.

The regulatory body said it would examine the case as a result of a JC report, which revealed that Jewish charities and individuals had lost millions as a result of a settlement on a debt owed by Moises Gertner, once a key benefactor of the Charedi community.

Documents seen by the JC revealed that Mr Gertner, from Hendon, north-west London, owed money to a range of companies, individuals and charities.

Mr Gertner, 57, owed debts including: £200,000 to the Golders Green-based Bay Charitable Trust, which donates to a range of Jewish causes, and £500,000 to the Investream Charitable Trust in central London, as well as other charities.

Creditors also included Jewish figures in London, Jerusalem and New York.

Mr Gertner also owed £547m to Icelandic bank Kaupthing, the creditor with the biggest claim, and more than £11m to the Israeli-owned CFL Finance Limited group.

At a hearing last Thursday, more than 95 per cent of creditors agreed to terms proposed by Mr Gertner in an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) to settle his debts.

Under the terms, Mr Gertner, who claimed he did not have the funds to settle the debts, would pay back 0.07 pence for every pound owed to creditors.

As a result of the settlement, Kaupthing will receive £400,000, and CFL will receive just £9,500. Neither would comment.

Mr Gertner – who, with his brother Mendi, was once one of the wealthiest people in Britain, with £430m in assets according to the 2009 Sunday Times Rich List - declined to comment.

A spokesman for the Commission said: “Prior to your article, we had not received any complaints, but given the alleged loss of charitable funds we would expect both charities to report the matter to us under the Serious Incident Reporting regime.

"The Commission will be assessing the information you have provided to assess what role there is for us as the regulator, which will include contacting both charities. We will then determine what regulatory role there is for the Commission.”

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