State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and Richmond County D.A. Michael E. McMahon: President of Staten Island Special Needs Pre-School and Wife Indicted
for Stealing Approximately $771,000 in Public Funds
President accused of falsifying business records for The Gingerbread Learning Center so he and his wife could steal taxpayer money for personal indulgences
State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and Richmond County District Attorney Michael E. McMahon recently announced that Dennis Mosesman and Elsie Mosesman have been indicted on charges including Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C Felony, Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D Felony, and Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree for stealing approximately $771,000 in public funds by falsifying business records for The Gingerbread Learning Center, Inc., a pre-school serving special needs children aged three through five years on Staten Island. Throughout the course of the scheme, the defendants diverted public funds to purchase personal items including; landscaping for their home, car and insurance payments for their vehicles, flowers and other gifts for relatives, cell phone payments, personal purchases at Costco, life insurance, and also created a more than $100,000 no-show job for defendant Elsie Mosesman.
“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,” said State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. “Thanks to my auditors and investigators, in partnership with Richmond District Attorney Michael E. McMahon’s office, their $771,000 scheme was exposed and they face criminal charges. I thank District Attorney McMahon and his staff for their commitment to protecting taxpayer money.”
“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. “I would like to thank Comptroller DiNapoli and his team for their thorough investigation, as well as my prosecutors, ADAs Gregg Brown and Andrew Botelho. The type of selfish behavior displayed by these defendants is unacceptable, and we will continue to work with the State Comptroller’s Office, the State Department of Education, and the New York City Department of Education to ensure that all children are able to learn and succeed in a safe and trusting environment.”
On or about, and in between, January 2015 and August 2015, an audit of The Gingerbread Learning Center conducted by the State Comptroller’s Office revealed that items listed on the company’s Consolidated Fiscal Reports (CFR) for fiscal years 2010-2011; 2011-2012; and 2012-2013, and filed with the State Department of Education, were not reasonably related and necessary to the company’s operations, but instead were for the benefit of defendants Dennis Mosesman and Elsie Mosesman.
The Gingerbread Learning Center was in contract with the City of New York to provide special education programs to pre-school children, serving approximately 100 students annually, and was required to file yearly CFRs outlining the company’s yearly expenses and costs. The audit was prompted by an anonymous complaint received by the State Department of Education alleging that Elsie Mosesman was a “no show” employee. The audit examined, among other things, employee time and attendance, and payments for expenses The Gingerbread Learning Center claimed on its CFRs. The audit uncovered several financial irregularities in the CFRs submitted by The Gingerbread Learning Center. The audit also uncovered issues regarding the employment of Elsie Mosesman.
In addition to his wife’s salary ($150,000 annually plus fringe benefits), Dennis Mosesman also claimed personal items on the CFRs. Specifically, he claimed as program-related items: landscaping for his home ($18,936), car and insurance payments for his vehicles (two Mercedes Benz, a Porsche, and Toyota Highlander) ($56,966), flowers sent to his wife and daughters ($3,561), cell phone payments for his daughter and son-in-law ($7,002), Staples purchases for his daughter ($2,656), the purchase of a domain name for his daughter’s professional website ($220), personal purchases at Costco ($17,835), life insurance for Dennis Mosesman with Elsie Mosesman as the beneficiary ($42,877), and gift cards ($6,786).
Dennis Mosesman and Elsie Mosesman were both arraigned in State Supreme Court, St. George, and released on their own recognizance.
The case is being prosecuted by ADAs Gregg Brown and Andrew Botelho.
The charges contained in the attached indictment are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.