Edward Tully (L) conned philanthropist Allen Skolnick (R) out of more than £5million
Edward Tully, 62, was trusted to run the UK operations by lifelong friend Allen Skolnick between 2007 and 2013.
But over the six years Tully betrayed the American, falsifying finances while using the money to fund his own accountancy firm and buy a luxury home in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire.
The thief also blew a fortune renovating a nearby hotel he owned at the time.
Allen Skolnick, pictured with his wife, passed away in 2013
Mr Skolnick, who passed away in 2013, made his fortune in the vitamins and food supplement industry through his company Solgar.
You ruthlessly abused their trust and stole over five million from their companies over the period of six years
Judge Mark Bishop
After selling his firm in 1995, he and his wife Connie founded the CAMBR Foundation, which funded a number of Jewish not-for-profit organisations.
Among others, it supported the American Jewish Committee, Hillel Foundation and Birthright Israel.
Tully stole £5,080,713 from the CAMBR Foundation and the family's property company Cedarcoast Ltd, Inner London Crown Court heard.
Jailing him for eight years, Judge Mark Bishop said: “You were trusted by Mr Skolnick having been friends since the 1980s.”
Mr Skolnick was based in America and trusted Tully to manage the UK finances as well as advising on property development, the judge said.
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Tully regularly sent the businessman falsified reports on the property and finances, while transferring the money into his own bank account.
“Given the backdrop of your lifelong friendship when you knew Mr Skolnick and his son, you ruthlessly abused their trust and stole over five million from their companies over the period of six years.
“All the time you were defrauding him and his companies on a grand scale. You were deceiving Mr Skolnick in every conversation and report that you had about how the stock was doing.
Edward Tully was jailed for eight years for stealing £5,080,713
“You knew that he was in the US and you were in the UK where the money was.”
In addition to transferring himself funds, Tully also allowed the sale of a block of 12 flats without informing Mr Skolnick, and kept the money for himself.
The massive fraud only came to light in July 2011 after Mr Skolnick was unable to withdraw £50,000 from the UK account, forcing Tully to confess there was no money left.
Judge Bishop explained: “You told the company lawyers you had stolen £8,000,000. You said in a second interview you had stolen under £8 million.
“You said you used the funds to buy a new home for yourself in Cambridgeshire, funding your accountancy practise, and renovating a hotel you owned.”
Judge Bishop added: “I am unconvinced you are genuinely remorseful about what you did. The personal betrayal of what you did was particularly hard to bear, especially during his final days.”
He was also disqualified from being a director for 15 years.
Tully, of Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, admitted theft, fraud by abuse of position and furnishing false information.