adidas absolion Couple running special needs pre
A New Jersey couple is accused of siphoning taxpayer funds from a Willowbrook special needs school to pay for personal indulgences like luxury cars and shopping trips to Costco.
“These defendants allegedly stole taxpayer money that should have gone to help special needs children but instead was spent on personal indulgences. This breach of public trust is not only morally wrong, but criminal, and we will work tirelessly to hold them accountable,” said District Attorney Michael E. McMahon in a statement.
The Gingerbread Learning Center, which is located on North Gannon Avenue and serves about 100 kids, was in a contract with the city to provide special education programs, and was required to file yearly consolidated fiscal reports (CFR), officials said.
The audit, McMahon said, was prompted by an anonymous complaint received by the State Department of Education alleging that Elsie Moseman was a “no show” employee. She is listed on the company website as the school’s educational director, and was making about $150,000 annually, plus fringe benefits.
“The Mosesmans allegedly diverted public funds meant for children with special needs to landscape their home, buy luxury cars and create a more than $100,000 no show job,” Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli said.
They were arraigned in state Supreme Court, St. George Tuesday, and released on their own recognizance, according to a spokesman for the district attorney’s office.
“For the past year, we have been in negotiations with the district attorney’s office to resolve this dispute in an attempt to ensure that the Gingerbread Learning Center remain open and continue to serve their community,” the couple’s lawyers, Alan M. Abramson and Glenn H. Morak, said in a statement to the Advance. “Although we are disappointed with today’s development, we are still hopeful that we can resolve this dispute and prevent the school’s closure for the benefit of the students that attend the Gingerbread Learning Center and their parents.”