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Lakewood Special Needs School Head Found Guilty of Laundering Money

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A jury found that Rabbi Osher Eisemann, who heads a special needs school for children in Lakewood, was guilty of official misconduct and financial crimes. The Middlesex County jury determined that the 62-year-old rabbi, who is the founder and director of the School for Children with Hidden Intelligence, used his position to help launder money and steal funds. Photo Credit: (NJ AOG)

Patch.com reports that the convictions were two second-degree charges, but he could have faced even more potential prison time and fines. The jury acquitted him on a number of other counts, including second-degree theft by unlawful taking second-degree misapplication of entrusted property, and first-degree corruption of public resources. Services for Hidden Intelligence, LLC, the fundraising arm of the school, was acquitted on all counts. When Eisemann faces a judge for sentencing on April 29, he could face at least five years in prison for laundering $200,000.

The rabbi was hit with a superseding indictment about a year ago that came because of work done by the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability. The Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau aided in the investigation as well, according to Patch.com. After the New Jersey Department of Education flagged the school, the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability decided to start digging.

Patch.com pointed out that the state had evidence to show that Eisemann was using $200,000 in school funds to make it look like he paid off debts to the school that came from one of his personal bank accounts.

The Jewish Voice reported about the rabbi being indicted two years ago on charges of stealing more than $630,000 in public funds for the highly popular special needs school that he founded in the mid-1990s. Eisemann was also accused of using the school’s fundraising foundation to launder much of the public money that was allocated to them, the state attorney general said at the time.

According to published reports Rabbi Eisemann was charged by a state grand jury with: Theft by unlawful taking; misapplication of government property; misconduct by a corporate official; and money laundering — all second-degree offenses that carry up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000.

At the time, the school released a statement about the unfortunate circumstances. Jeff Ifrah, an attorney representing SCHI told a local Lakewood news website in the form of a statement that:

“Since 1995 The School for Children with Hidden Intelligence (SCHI) has provided a superior level of services to meet the unique needs of severely-disabled, medically fragile, and socially-emotionally challenged children and young adults.

We are disappointed that the State of New Jersey has chosen to utilize limited taxpayer resources to proceed with this baseless investigation of SCHI and our dedicated Director Osher Eisemann. The State’s claims allege no criminal intent, nor that the funds in question were used for the Director’s personal gain. SCHI continues to support our Director and we are confident that both SCHI and Rabbi Eisemann will be exonerated at the conclusion of this investigation.”

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