LAKEWOOD: SCHI’s Rabbi Osher Eisemann Sentenced to 60 Days and Two Years Probation

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Rabbi Osher Eisemann, founder of the School for Children with Hidden Intelligence (SCHI) in Lakewood, was sentenced Monday to two years probation.

The State had requested 15 years in prison, but Judge Benjamin Bucca instead sentenced Rabbi Eisemann to 2 years probation, with 60 days in Middlesex County jail. The judge also recommended that Rabbi Eisemann, 62, be allowed to return to lead the school but not handle finances.

The judge also stated that “The character letters were overwhelming. In all my years, I have never seen such support.”

“The seriousness of the crime and the harm from it are much less than this court generally sees for second degree crimes,” Bucca said

Court reporter Stacey Barchenger tweeted: “It’s my hope that you get back to SCHI,” Judge Bucca tells Eisemann, who is standing beside his lawyers. Several of the more than 50 people in the audience have tears streaming from their eyes.”

Rabbi Eisemann was found guilty in February of two second-degree charges by a Middlesex County jury following a four-week trial. The jury acquitted Eisemann of charges of first-degree corruption of public resources, second-degree theft by unlawful taking, and second-degree misapplication of entrusted property.

The school’s fundraising foundation, Services for Hidden Intelligence, LLC, was acquitted of all charges against it.

The second-degree charges carried sentences of 5 to 10 years in prison.

The Lakewood Rosh Yeshiva, Hagaon HaRav Yeruchim Olshin in the courtroom at the sentencing

Eisemann was charged in an April 13, 2018 superseding indictment that was the result of an investigation by the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability, 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 of which Eisemann was found guilty, the state presented testimony and evidence that Eisemann misappropriated $200,000 in school funds that he used in a money laundering scheme designed to make it appear that he used personal funds to repay debts he owed to SCHI.

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38 COMMENTS

  1. BH BH BH!! Rabbi Eisemann I am so happy for you.. Now you see that the Eibishter needs you to continue your holy work! SHtark zich Rabbi Eisemann!

  2. TO MamishAhocker:
    Why would you ask to be told what he did? Just to satisfy your curiosity??
    Did you consider that there might be issues of Bein adam Lachavero involved?
    If it were you, would you appreciate someone asking such a question on here?

  3. I’m not sure why many of you are thankful or believe he did nothing. According to the evidence gathered from the courts, if the Sanhedrin existed today the likely sentence wouldn’t be as forgiving as the secular court (at least according to the terms the Gemorah details for such an aveirah). A substantial report of the crime can be found elsewhere.

  4. Yid

    His prison starting date is June 1st

    May his prison time go by quick and easy for such a devoted tzaddik always helping these special neshamos in SCHI

  5. @mamishahacker
    “In connection with the money laundering charge of which Eisemann was found guilty, the state presented testimony and evidence that Eisemann misappropriated $200,000 in school funds that he used in a money laundering scheme designed to make it appear that he used personal funds to repay debts he owed to SCHI.”
    That is just over all the tweets.

  6. A frum yid is prohibited from believing the testimony of the state witnesses, they have no ne’emonus at all alpi Torah. We should be dan R’ Eisenmann lekaf zechus that he acted appropriately. Some of the other comments here are blatant loshon horah or motzie shem rah written by people unaware of the halachos of shmiras halashon. It behooves us to be nosei b’ol a fellow yid who actually created a school single handedly & helped thousands of children with special needs & their families. I don’t know R’ Osher & B”H never needed his services but many frum families were helped tremendously by his school. It takes a special rishus to attack a fellow yid when he’s being pursued & down by quoting the charges of the antisemitic prosecutor. Stop accepting & spreading loshon horah.

  7. I’m not sure why many of you are thankful or believe he did nothing. According to the evidence gathered from the courts, if the Sanhedrin existed today the likely sentence wouldn’t be as forgiving as the secular court (at least according to the terms the Gemorah details for such an aveirah). A substantial report of the crime can be found elsewhere.
    at worse he was a ganav who is michuyiv to pay keifel(even that probaly not-moving around funds isnt genava)
    no jail

    SHAME ON YWN FOR ALLOWING SUCH TRASH

  8. I have a funny feeling that after all this Geihinom that he is presently going through, after 120 years, he will go straight to Gan Eden.

  9. Haunt, not so fast and not so accurate. Unrelated to this case, an example of following the evidence of non Jews is pulling a criminal background check for any type of applicant (Jewish or not) for a frum employer. If a yeshiva or Shul looking to hire a position (such as teacher or youth director) we absolutely follow the results of the criminal background check. If there was an type of criminal mischief (God Forbid) with children, then the offer is rescinded. No playing games, no putting a stumbling block in front of the blind, no taking risks. Same applies for a Shul bookkeeper position with a criminal history report of financial mistrust or misuse.

  10. Haimy , it’s attitudes like yours that allowed child molesters to go unchecked for decades. It also creates the mindset that tax evasion ( income and sales) , theft, being a slumlord are ok and permitted

  11. I am extremely happy that R’ Usher did not get a harsher sentence. However, as he himself said in the name of his father Rav Moshe Eisemann, zt”l Rosh Yeshivas Bais Meir formerly in Vineland, NJ, that everything is min hashomayim b’hashgoshas prerotis and is a beracha. There are undoubtedly many aspects to this beracha both to him personally and to the Torah tzibur as a whole. I would like to highlight the latter by emphasizing how important it is to be 1000% honest and “clean” of any questionable financial dealings, thereby avoiding any possibility of chillul Hashem or maris eyein of genavah. Other fundraisers of other Mosdos HaTorah or baalei batim in business should take heed and if possible appoint an executive committee/accountant to take more responsibility in the finances and oversight of the Mosad or business. Mazel tov to R’ Usher and may you go m’chayil l’chayil in your avodas Hashem.

  12. @One of the chevra

    Because the title of the article is “Rabbi Osher Eisemann Sentenced…” The most natural question in the world is “…of what?”

  13. While, I’ll maintain dan I’kaf Zach is in this case, I know from experience that there are yeshivas and non-profit organizations that report fraudulent information.

  14. anonymous Gentile: Haimy is 100% correct. It is attitudes such as yours that breeds anti-Semitism and self-hatred, not to mention wanton violation of the Torah, loshon hora and multitudes worse.

  15. The report tells us exactly what the jury found him guilty of: “a money laundering scheme designed to make it appear that he used personal funds to repay debts he owed to SCHI.”

    The real question is why was his sentence so light when Sholom Rubashkin got 27 years for financial crimes.

  16. Boruch Hashem his sentence was light.

    Boruch Hashem we live in a country where yidden are able to get and receive a fair trial in front of a jury and judge.

    The sentences in this case and in the lakewood welfare fraud cases show that the non stop attribution of every indictment to eisav soneh es yaakov and the constant rhethoric of redifus is misplaced and wrong. It is wrong to turn every frum yid accused of a crime into a martyr.

  17. Haimy – Maybe Rabbi Eisemann doesn’t really exist because two eidim were never meyed in bais din (with drisha vchakirah) that he does.

  18. ujm, so if you have children and intend on hiring a Jewish babysitter, nanny, or send them to school where there are teachers and staff- I expect you do no homework, no due diligence, or have the school/yeshiva do no background checks to see if the intended applicant has a history of money fraud, child perversion, sex crimes, or various other unappealing records. Because those government criminal records are likely founded on data from non-Jews, it shouldn’t be considered credible to you. I’ll tell you what a violation of the Torah is, it’s money laundering funds from an educational organization intended to help others, in other words, it’s allocating money which isn’t yours (commandment #8).

  19. I’m sickened to the core by what i see here. Not too long ago, Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin was freed from prison, and YWN visitors seemed quite upset. Here are excerpts of some of the comments that were posed after the news of Rubashkin’s release was publicized:

    “Mr. Rubashkin is a convicted felon. All attempts within the Frum community to celebrate his release from prison is totally baffling and inconsistent with our Torah’s values for honesty, business ethics and morality.”

    “He is not a Shavui which is a captive held for ransom or a prison of war, but a criminal.”

    “Besides being publicly unrepentened (sic) and showing no remorse, Mr. Rubashkin has not paid his debts and fines and, therefore, cannot be considered having done full Teshuva.”

    “Condemn in no uncertain terms, the misdeeds of this person”

    These as well as other disgusting comments were posted in response to Rubashkins release.

    And now all of a sudden when a Litvishe Rosh Yeshiva is sentenced to only 2 years in jail, everyone immediately starts to defend him and say we need to be “dan l’kaf zchus”. Don’t get me wrong – I also side with the ones that said we need to be “dan l’kaf zchus” in this case. im just wondering why you guys are all being so sypathetic now whereas by Sholom mordechai Rubashkin, you labeled him a “felon” and a “criminal”. why do you respond differently when a Lubavitcher is freed from prison?!

  20. This is not a comment on this story, but a comment to Joseph, aka ujm, aka multitude of aliases. You flaming deluxe hypocrite who dares to admonish others about lashon hara, violation of Torah and ” multitudes worse” , are the most insidious violator of all 3 all over this blog.

  21. I’m not from Lakewood so maybe I’m missing something. Is the story here that he was falsely charged and he did not commit the crimes he was convicted of?

    It wont change ny reaction one bit, i’ve davened for guilty yidden before. I don’t care if they’re guilty, innocent, yellow, blue, srugy, striemel, bare headed, drowning, on fire, or sitting on a beach. A yid is a yid and he’s my brother and I’ll daven hard for him.

    But I’m very unclear on the point here. The article seems to say we are happy at his light sentence. Of course. Baruch hashem. But the judge seems sympathetic? So was he falsely charged?

  22. Rabbi Eisemann is completely innocent. What he did was 100 legal as per the law. The jury was either confused or eager to convict, as is obvious by their verdict – one that vindicated him on most charges and convicted him on charges that are technically dependent on the charges he was vindicated on. The prosecution has stated that even though it is an inconsistent verdict and not technically possible, legal precedent has shown cases where the jury’s verdict was still upheld. So basically, even though the conviction makes little sense, the law states that he should be sentenced.

    One last point. I am very familiar with the details of the case. The secular media strongly twisted their coverage to imply that he did something wrong. I challenge every person reading this to do their own research. There has been some Jewish publications that have delved into the details of the case. Read them. If you really have to, contact the Middlesex County Superior Court and request all the document pertaining to the case. It may take you hours to read through them all, but it will be well worth it. There is no doubt that the only conclusion you will be able to draw will be that he is completely innocent and that even the slightest sentence is a travesty of justice. You will be disgusted by the fact that such a person was clearly targeted for non-crimes. This case should never have been in a court of law, and it never should have been presented to a jury. And unlike most of the people commenting here, I speak from first-hand knowledge, and from what my own two ears have heard inside the courtroom. (and no, I am not related to Rabbi Eisemann, nor did I know him before this case began.)

  23. As someone who is very familiar with the case, Rabbi Eisemann is 100% innocent. He doesn’t deserve a day in jail or to be fined a penny. Borouch Hashem for the light sentence as it could have been much worse but unfortunately it’s a dark day for justice in America when we are celebrating that an innocent man “only “ got sentenced to 60 days in jail.