TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that Rabbi Osher Eisemann, the founder and director of the School for Children with Hidden Intelligence (“SCHI”) in Lakewood, N.J., was sentenced today to 60 days in jail and a term of probation. A Middlesex County jury found Eisemann guilty at trial in February of using school funds in a money laundering scheme.
Eisemann, 62, was sentenced today to 60 days in jail as a condition of a term of two years of probation by Superior Court Judge Benjamin S. Bucca Jr. in Middlesex County. Judge Bucca ordered Eisemann to pay an anti-money laundering profiteering penalty of $250,000. The parties will return to court on July 1, when the judge will determine the date that Eisemann must report to serve his jail term.
Eisemann was found guilty on Feb. 27 of second-degree charges of money laundering and misconduct by a corporate official. The state requested that Eisemann be sentenced to 12 years in prison – six years for each charge. Second-degree charges carry a presumptive sentence of five to 10 years in prison, and by law, the money laundering charge cannot merge with the other charge and carries a consecutive sentence. The judge, however, imposed a sentence of probation over the state’s objection, finding Eisemann had overcome the presumption of imprisonment attached to his second-degree convictions. The Attorney General’s Office is reviewing the judge’s decision and considering an appeal.
Eisemann was acquitted at trial of additional charges, including a charge of first-degree corruption of public resources. The school’s fundraising foundation, Services for Hidden Intelligence, LLC, was acquitted of all charges. Judge Bucca today denied a motion filed by the defense that sought to have him set aside the jury verdict and enter a judgment of acquittal or order a new trial.
Deputy Attorneys General Anthony J. Robinson and John Nicodemo tried the case and handled the sentencing for the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA). They were assisted at trial by Analyst Nathalie Kurzawa. Eisemann was indicted in an investigation by the OPIA, assisted by the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau. The investigation began with a referral from the New Jersey Department of Education regarding SCHI’s financial practices.
In connection with the money laundering charge, the state presented testimony and evidence that Eisemann misappropriated $200,000 in school funds that he used in a scheme designed to make it appear that he used personal funds to repay debts he owed to SCHI. The state also presented testimony and evidence at trial that between 2011 and 2015, Eisemann used the fundraising foundation to misappropriate $779,000 in operating funds from SCHI, specifically, public tuition monies entrusted to the school to educate special needs children. The state argued that he used those funds for various personal purposes unrelated to SCHI. Eisemann was found guilty of the second charge, misconduct by a corporate official, because he used a corporation, Services for Hidden Intelligence, LLC, to facilitate criminal activity. That count incorporated all of the allegations in the indictment.
Attorney General Grewal thanked the Department of Education for its referral and assistance. He also thanked the Division of Taxation for its assistance.
Lee Vartan, Esq., Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi, PC