Staten Island couple accused of stealing more than $750G meant for preschool to fund lavish lifestyle

Ben Chapman

New York Daily News

Jan 2, 2018

A couple gorged themselves on more than $750,000 meant for the Gingerbread Learning Center, a Staten Island preschool they operated for kids with learning disabilities, authorities said Tuesday.

School founders Dennis and Elsie Mosesman, of West Long Branch, N.J., were indicted Tuesday on numerous charges, including felony grand larceny.

The couple’s indictment followed a 2016 audit by state Controller Thomas P. DiNapoli that alleged the Mosesmans stole $771,000 in taxpayer money to create a $150,000-a-year no-show job for Elsie Mosesman and pay for a lavish lifestyle that included home landscaping, car and insurance payments for two Mercedes Benzes, a Porsche and a Toyota Highlander, flowers and gift cards.

The Mosesmans pleaded not guilty Tuesday to the charges in Supreme Court in Staten Island and were released on their own recognizance. They did not respond to calls for comment.

Gingerbread Learning Center operates two locations in Staten Island with about 100 students. According to its website, the outfit has been in business since 1988.

The school offers state-funded classes and other services to children with disabilities. Gingerbread Learning Center also appears in the city’s 2017 directory of city-funded universal pre-kindergarten providers.

Education Department spokeswoman Devora Kaye said the programs for city kids at center will continue, despite the charges the Mosesmans face. She said the department “takes this matter extremely seriously.”