An anti-Semitic attack on a kosher cafe in Canada that police described as one of the “worst” they had seen has been revealed as a ruse by the owners. A vigil and a fundraising campaign had been set up to support the family.
The fake attack saw the BerMax Caffe and Bistro in Winnipeg spray painted with anti-Semitic graffiti and “severely vandalized.” A woman was assaulted and taken to the hospital for treatment, CBC reported at the time.
Police charged the owners with public mischief after an investigation involving 25 police officers and 1,000 hours of work revealed it to be nothing more than a scam. “In the end, we found evidence of a crime. It just wasn’t a hate crime,” Police Chief Danny Smyth said, Global News reports.
Alexander Berent, Oxana Berent, and Maxim Berent are to appear in court next month. Oxana was the woman allegedly assaulted. She denied the attack was fake on CBC Radio, saying, “We don’t joke about swastikas on our walls.”