According to federal prosecutors, a Hasidic school in Brooklyn will pay $5 million in fines. After being caught stealing millions of dollars from government programs that provide free meals to needy students.
On Monday, the Central United Talmudic Academy, which serves over 5,000 students in Williamsburg. Agreed to a deferred prosecution agreement. Which included an additional $3 million in restitution already paid by the school. According to the New York Times, which first reported the story, the school is the largest private Hasidic school in New York.
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According to federal authorities, the school committed “several overlapping frauds,” including diverting more than $3 million in federal funds to pay for school meals. An investigation discovered that the “overwhelming majority of meals” fabricate. That funds instead use for private adult parties.
According to court documents, the school also admitted to creating no-show jobs for some employees. While compensating them with vouchers and cash to allow them to qualify for government benefits.
Eliezer Porges, the school’s executive director is sentenced to two years in prison. For the school meal fraud scheme three years ago. The school had previously agreed to significant structural changes, including replacing its executive team. By forming a new oversight board.
According to prosecutors, the $5 million in fines. In addition to the $3 million in restitution already paid by the school. An independent monitor will also supervise the school for three years as part of the new agreement.
Mark Mukasey, the school’s request for comment from an attorney, has not returned.
The misbehavior at the school was “systemic and widespread,” according to Breon Peace. The United States for the Eastern District of New York Attorney says.
“Today’s resolution accounts for CUTA’s involvement in those crimes and provides a path forward. To repay and repair the community’s damage,” Peace said in a prepared statement.
The agreement comes at a time when New York’s yeshivas are under increased scrutiny. The state has begun implementing new regulations in response to years of complaints. About a lack of secular education standards at the schools.