Senior Police Officer Commits Suicide

The Israel Police announced the tragic suicide of Lt. Commander Ephraim Bracha on Sunday, the head of the police's National Fraud Unit who became the center of the Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto corruption scandal.

Bracha, a Modi'in resident who was married with four children, was 55 when he died. He was widely considered to be one of the most senior officials in the Israel Police. 

Bracha's reputation was skewered after he was implicated in the Rabbi Pinto corruption case. 

Pinto allegedly attempted to bribe Bracha with $200,000 for information about a pending police investigation into the Hazon Yeshaya charity organization, which Pinto was rumored to be closely involved with. 

Bracha immediately reported the incident to his superiors, prompting a separate investigation against Rabbi Pinto himself – but his name was still tainted by the process. 

That investigation revealed that Pinto allegedly tried to bribe several other officers for information about the case against Hazon Yeshaya. 

The charity, which was supposed to have provided millions of dollars to Holocaust survivors and ran a popular soup kitchen and volunteer network in Jerusalem, closed in 2012 under allegations of fraud.

The allegations claim that several members of the charity – including Pinto – stole much of the food donated to the kitchen and sold it for "tens of millions of dollars," according to a 2012 Haaretz article.

Pinto was later sentenced to one year in prison earlier this year for his involvement in the scandal, as well as in a separate case involving the alleged bribing of Lahav 433 officer Menashe Arbiv. 

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/197690

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