Benefit fraud and tax evasion is common practice in Stamford Hill Orthodox Jewish community, High Court hears

Tax evasion and benefit fraud are “on the face of it, common practice” in the Stamford Hill Hasidic community and actively encouraged by community leaders, a High Court judge said in a controversial property hearing.

Kyverdale Road in Stamford Hill. Picture: Polly Hancock

The revelation comes after Miriam Kliers took an unusual property dispute concerning a home in Kyverdale Road, Stamford Hill, to the High Court.

She alleged the house which she and her husband Shlomo bought in 2004 had been put in the name of her younger brother Mordechai Schmerler, so the married couple could fraudulently claim housing benefit.

Despite “misgivings” she agreed to the alleged fraud because of “undue influence” from a “patriarchal body” which included not only her close relatives but community leaders and rabbis, including Mr Kliers’ Grand Rabbi in Israel, their London rabbi and a community adviser, she claimed.

Read more here


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