Founder of special needs school stole nearly $1 million, AG says

School uses Mount Haven Resort for summer camp


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  • Har Haven (File photo by Frances Ruth Harris)



“The whole notion in this indictment is that the Rabbi misappropriated state funds for his own use or the use of the community. We’re able to show definitively, and will show definitively at trial, that there were no state funds for him to misappropriate, meaning they were all appropriately used up in the education of the students at the school.”
Attorney Lee Vartan


BY ERIKA NORTON

The founder of the School for Children with Hidden Intelligence — the same organization that uses the Mount Haven Resort for camp in the summer — is charged with theft, money laundering and corruption, according to the New Jersey Attorney General.

Founder of the school Rabbi Osher Eisemann, 61, was first charged in March 2017 for allegedly stealing $630,000 in public tuition money and faced five to 10 years in prison. In a superseding indictment, the New Jersey attorney general says further investigation discovered Eisemann allegedly stole $979,000.

According to the attorney general, Eisemann allegedly used the fundraising foundation, Services for Hidden Intelligence, to steal approximately $779,000 in public tuition — including $317,000 which he used for a personal business venture, $450,000 which he used to pay back taxes owed to New Jersey by “an associate,” and $12,000 which he used to pay personal credit card debt.

He also allegedly stole an additional $200,000 in school funds from “undetermined sources,” which he used to make it appear that he was repaying debts he owed to the school using personal funds.

Eisemann, along with the school's fundraising foundation, is charged with first-degree corruption of public resources, a crime that could carry a prison sentence of 10 to 20 years prison if he is convicted. Eisemann and the foundation are also charged with second-degree counts of theft by unlawful taking, money laundering and misapplication of government property.

Eisemann is individually charged with misconduct of a corporate official.

According to Lee Vartan, Eisemann's lawyer, Rabbi Eisemann vehemently denies the allegations in the superseding indictment and plans on contesting them at trial and being fully vindicated. He said that the school and Rabbi Eisemann actually spent more on it’s students than it receives in state dollars.

“The whole notion in this indictment is that the the Rabbi misappropriated state funds for his own use or the use of the community,” Vartan said. “We’re able to show definitively, and will show definitively at trial, that there were no state funds for him to misappropriate, meaning they were all appropriately used up in the education of the students at the school.”

The school and DingmanIn 1995, Eisemann founded The School for Children with Hidden Intelligence (SCHI), which according to their website, is a “therapeutic and educational center meeting the unique needs of over 600 severely-developmentally delayed, medically fragile, and socially-emotionally challenged children & young adults ranging in age from birth to 21+.”

The School for Children with Hidden Intelligence has an exclusive reservation to use the Mount Haven Resort in Digman Township, now owned by Har Haven LLC, for a four- to six-week period in the summer as a camp.

Shortly after the resort’s sale to Har Haven in early 2016, Dingman township residents raised concerns that the property was being used as a full-time children’s summer camp and that the property was being used as a school.

To try to alleviate these concerns, the Dingman Township zoning officer issued a “Temporary Certificate of Use,” in order to verify Har Haven’s actual usage of the property was as a resort and not as a full-time camp, seasonal school or other non-resort use. The zoning officer said they would monitor the use of Mount Haven to determine if it is being used legitimately as a resort prior to the next exclusive reservation by The School for Children with Hidden Intelligence.

The “Temporary Certificate of Use” was later extended until June 30, 2018, at which time the use of the property will be re-evaluated.

Dingman Township officials did not respond to requests for comment by press time.





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