Federal prosecutors in Manhattan charged 17 people involved in a massive Holocaust reparations racket that led to the payment of $42.5 million in bogus claims to ineligible applicants. The money came from a fund created for Holocaust survivors and administered by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany. Administrators were supposed to examine and verify the claims, but instead helped phony applicants forge documents in exchange for portions of the payouts. “If ever there was a cause that you would hope and expect would be immune from base greed and criminal fraud, it would be the Claims Conference,” U.S. attorney Preet Bharara said. Four of the alleged criminals have been busted before, and five are now cooperating with the FBI.