NEW YORK — The former director of a program established to aid the survivors of Nazi persecution has been sentenced in New York to eight years in prison for his role in a $57 million fraud.

Semen Domnitser was sentenced Monday in federal court in Manhattan. He was director for more than a decade of programs administered by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany Inc.

The 55-year-old Domnitser was convicted in May after a four-week trial of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and mail fraud. Prosecutors said he was the highest ranking insider to participate in the fraud by processing fraudulent applications to the conference. He was ordered to pay restitution of $57.3 million.

The investigation began after the Claims Conference suspected fraud in November 2009 and alerted authorities.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.