One day last summer, state investigators descended upon the 13-acre campus in Lakewood of the School for Children with Hidden Intelligence, a private entity that takes in about $1.8 million a month from the coffers of public schools to educate special needs youngsters.
The investigators came armed with forklifts to haul out scores of boxes containing the school’s records.
For months after the June raid, there was silence, as the public speculated about why the school was being investigated.
That mystery was solved in March when a state grand jury named the school’s fundraising foundation, Services for Hidden Intelligence, LLC, and the school’s founder, Rabbi Osher Eisemann, in an indictment that alleges misappropriation of more than $630,000 in tuition paid by public school districts to the private school.
The school, founded by Eisemann in the 1990s to assist his disabled son, charges the public school districts almost $100,000 a year per student in tuition.
But the indictment charges Eisemann and the school’s foundation with theft, misapplication of entrusted property and money laundering – crimes that could collectively land the rabbi in prison for up to 30 years if he is convicted.
Authorities allege that Eisemann stole about $430,000 in public tuition money paid to the private school and invested the stolen money in a now-defunct clothing business operated by an associate.
Authorities claim the rabbi then transferred funds from the clothing business into the coffers of the private school and its fundraising foundation, and he used money from those accounts to pay the clothing company’s credit card bills and bolster its bank accounts.
In addition, authorities allege the rabbi laundered another $200,000 in public tuition funds. They have accused him of channeling that money through the accounts of various entities and individuals until it wound up in his personal account. They allege he did that to mask the fact he was using money stolen from the school to pay back personal debts he owed to the school.
The case is on the docket today when Eisemann and attorneys for Services for Hidden Intelligence are scheduled to appear for an arraignment on the charges.
An arraignment is a brief proceeding at which attorneys typically enter not-guilty pleas and are apprised of future court dates.
The arraignment is scheduled for 9 a.m. before Superior Court Judge Benjamin S. Bucca at the Middlesex County Courthouse in New Brunswick.