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Sara Netanyahu reaches plea deal for trying to hide chef invoices

By Nicholas Sakelaris
Sara Netanyahu reaches plea deal for trying to hide chef invoices
Sara Netanyahu, wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, reached a plea deal Wednesday in the "Prepared Food Affair." File Photo by Olivier Douliery/UPI | License Photo

May 29 (UPI) -- Israeli prosecutors reached a plea deal with Sara Netanyahu on Wednesday to avoid a lengthy trial in the so-called "Prepared Food Affair."

Under the proposed deal, she would pay a reduced fine, $15,215, and accept a lesser charge of intentionally exploiting others. She will not be charged with defrauding the government.

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The plea agreement won't be final until it's endorsed by the court.

Netanyahu, wife of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was accused of falisfying invoices to outside chefs who were brought in to prepare food at the official residence. Prosecutors said this was done to circumvent limits on how much the prime minister and his family could pay for outside chefs and hide the fact that they employed one. There were 15 invoices falsified to outside chefs, prosecutors said.

Hiding the chefs also allowed Netanyahu to get prepared food, too.

"In a case where a cook is not employed in the [prime minister's] official residence, it is permitted to order prepared food as needed," Israeli regulations state.

Prosecutors said the Netanyahus wanted the luxury of a private chef along with the ability to cater meals, which cost $100,000.

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The plea deal came after a six-month mediation process.

Ezra Saidoff, a former caretaker at the residence, accepted a similar deal, in which he will be fined $2,760 and complete community service hours.

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