Israeli PM's wife charged with fraud, breach of trust

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Prosecutors allege that Sara Netanyahu committed fraud by having staff at the Prime Minister's Residence order $96,000 in gourmet meals between 2010 and 2013.

According to the indictment, Netanyahu falsely claimed there was no cook at the time in the Jerusalem home in order to justify purchasing meals from restaurants. According to a statement by Israel's Justice Ministry, Sara Netanyahu has been charged with another government employee, for "fraudulently" spending $100,000 for meals supplied by restaurants. Her attorneys have said she did not know she was violating the rules.

It is also reported that lawyers Sara Netanyahu tried to broker a deal with the investigation, but the parties were unable to agree.

She has denied any wrongdoing.

"The Jerusalem District Attorney has filed an indictment against the prime minister's wife, Sara Netanyahu", the ministry said in a statement.

The indictment came after Netanyahu refused to pay for the outside meal charges despite a number of attempts to reach an agreement.

Benjamin Netanyahu has called the allegations against his wife absurd and unfounded.

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"They're dealing with the most important things in the world", he told supporters at a rally, "the procedure for replacing a light bulb, trays of food, the cup of tea that was served to her father, a righteous man, on his deathbed".

Seidoff was also charged with "falsification by a public servant". It was not immediately clear when her trial would start. For years, she has been accused of leading an extravagant lifestyle.

Israeli police recommended in February that Benjamin Netanyahu face charges for accepting US$300,000 ($436,000) worth of bribes.

Thursday's indictment is the latest in a series of scandals the Netanyahus have faced in recent months.

Netanyahu is suspected of promoting regulations that provided hundreds of millions of dollars in benefits for the company in return for more favorable coverage of the Netanyahu family on Bezeq's influential news site, Walla.

Netanyahu has been able to rally his base by presenting himself as the victim of a politically motivated witch hunt.