Critical Hearing in Eisemann Case Can Shape Next Week’s Trial

With the new trial in the case of revered SCHI founder Rabbi Osher Eisemann scheduled to begin next week, Judge Joseph Paone is holding a critical hearing this Tuesday to set the rules for how the prosecution can present their case.

After the prosecution saw their case erode during the first trial and they only managed to get two guilty verdicts after they withheld evidence, they are facing an uphill battle in cobbling together a case to present at the new trial, which is scheduled to commence next week. The charge of Financial Facilitation needs two alleged criminal acts, and during the first trial they said that the first act was a 12-day loan, which they claimed was a crime of “misapplication of public funds”.

However, after the jury cleared Rabbi Eisemann of any wrongdoing involving public funds, the prosecution is attempting to pivot, and to label the SAME 12-day loan as misapplication of PRIVATE funds. Aside from the evidence countering that claim, the defense team has vocally argued that the prosecution cannot retry Rabbi Eisemann for the same action that he was already vindicated of.

“At its core, the State will prosecute Eisemann for the same conduct and same offenses he was already acquitted of,” the defense wrote in a motion to the judge last week. “This second prosecution is therefore proscribed by the Double Jeopardy Clause.”

The defense also fought against allowing the prosecutors to shift their narrative continuously, and to reinvent the story in order to have a case to present to the jury.

“How many times must Eisemann be subject to the whims of the State and forced to defend against a new front in this prosecution?” they wrote.

The outcome of Tuesday’s hearing makes an enormous difference in the trial, which is scheduled to begin July 9. Should the judge allow the prosecution to change their story, it would give them many more avenues to try to spin to the jury, and would pose a greater risk for conviction.

The cost of the top-notch legal team is exorbitant, and askanim have launched a fundraiser to raise urgently needed funds for the upcoming trial. To donate, please visit pidyonshvuyim.com.

Being that this hearing is so crucial for shaping the entire trial, the tzibur is asked to maximize their tefillos and maasim tovim, to storm the gates of heaven and to accrue any possible zechus for the complete yeshua of Osher ben Chana Frumet.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. It is shocking that the defense attorneys hav never interviewed the “bookkeeper” at SCHI that actually made those entries that the Rabbi was found guilty of.

    The attorneys should be footing the legal fees, since the first trial. They should get the funds from their errors and omission insurance coverage.

    • The case is a lot more complex than that. The defense was only told AFTER THE TRIAL STARTED which transactions were the alleged criminal ones for Count 3. And they were shown documents by the state that showed the transactions but did not say who made the transactions. It was too late to start digging, especially when they thought it didn’t have a name attached. Only after the trial did they discover that the prosecution had another document that did say the name.

  2. Yehuda, your not following.. The defense had no clue there was an entry made by someone else, the state knew about it and withheld that information hence the Brady violation.

    • Actually, neither of you are following. There were 3 people working in the bookkeeping office when this happened, and it is hardly likely that nobody knew where in the school the office was or what was the bookkeeper’s number. The defense didn’t call her quite deliberately, maybe for several possible reasons. The bottom line is no sane person believes that the defense didn’t know who she was. One ten second phone call asking if you ever entered a $200,000 personal check from R’ Osher shlita would have gotten them all the information they needed. There most likely was only one $200,000 personal check from him ever. So they deliberately didn’t call her.

      Now they are saying that they didn’t know and it’s a Brady violation. Believe that and you can go to the bridge sale with the tollbooths thrown in for free.

      And Yitzy – they claimed your argument a long time ago and it was rejected. So it isn’t worth hoping that that argument will work. The indictment doesn’t have to specify the transaction – that’s for the trial. The defense knew it was the $200,000 circular movement of money. They could have easily figured it out in ten seconds who entered the money. This new trial only adds her testimony that the entry was not for a loan but just to balance the books.

      The prosecution already fought a long time ago to say that this transaction of $200,000 didn’t depend on public or private money. They won that fight that it is not inconsistent with the indictment. The public charge associated with his actions was cleared, but not only were they claiming misuse of public money but also misconduct by a public official. That was associated with the $200,000 and had nothing to do either public or private. It was, in essence, a statement that a public official misused a.k.a. stole an unwarranted benefit, whatever the designation of the money’s status was.

      So the prosecution is saying that they never accused anyone of being in cahoots with Rabbi E shlita, nor did they require the entry to be an actual deduction of a loan. They say Rabbi E. shlita owed money to a school that had no specific account to cover reasons why he owed money (such as giving the school’s money to other people). As long as the books showed that he gave them $200,000, in effect an examiner of the books would conclude that he just paid part of it back. Whether it was entered in to a loan account, or any other account, it wasn’t a personal check for a personal donation ($200,000 was $25,000 more than his yearly salary). So a personsl check that large had to be entered as some sort of repayment – otherwise what else could it be?

      This is why the prosecution said her testimony is irrelevant – because whatever she entered the $200,000 as it would benefit him when the source of the money was the school itself. This is why there is a huge sakana. As a frum yid you have to judge l’kaf zechus, but the redneck NJ juror doesn’t. So let’s believe everything was l’shem shomayim and let’s daven for Rabbi E. shlita, but putting hope in the logic of the lawyer’s legal arguments may lead to a very disappointing result. Only Hashem can save, and b’ezras Hashem he will.

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