Police Probe Haifa Rabbinical Court Head on Fraud, Bribery Charges

National Fraud Investigate Unit probing whether Rabbi Shlomo Chelouche took bribes from people seeking conversions; Chelouche's lawyers deny all accusations.

The Head of the Haifa Rabbinical Court, Rabbi Shlomo Chelouche, is being investigated by the National Fraud Investigative Unit over allegations of fraud, forging documents, and accepting bribes.

Police are currently carrying out searches of Chelouche's house in Haifa for evidence of wrongdoing.

According to the suspicions, Chelouche awarded favoritism in conversion courts and forged relevant documents in exchange for money.

The investigations of Chelouche began after police probes of fraud allegations in the Haifa Rabbinical Court pointed an accusatory finger at Chelouche.

Two additional suspects from the rabbinical court were brought in for investigation but were released.

During his term as president of the rabbinical court, Chelouche attained the position of the head of the Haifa Region Rabbinical Court.

Chelouche's attorneys have stated that the rabbi denies all allegations against him adding that he "performed his duties faithfully and all of these allegations are merely lies and fantasy contrived by people who want to hurt him."