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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 3, 2014

New Jersey Woman Charged With Bilking Non-Profit

Rochelle Biesenthal, 64, of Brigantine, New Jersey, was charged today by information with one count of wire fraud and three counts of tax evasion in connection with an alleged scheme to defraud the Jewish Heritage Programs (“JHP”), a non-profit corporation based in Philadelphia, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger.

According to the information, Biesenthal carried out the scheme between 2002 and April 2009, while employed as a bookkeeper at JHP.  She allegedly prepared and issued checks, made payable to her, drawn on JHP’s bank accounts.  It is further alleged that Biesenthal fraudulently authorized electronic debits from JHP’s bank accounts to pay for her personal credit cards and her family’s personal credit cards.  As part of the scheme, it is alleged that she defrauded JHP of a total of over $400,000.  In addition, according to the information, she never reported her unauthorized income in her tax returns in tax years 2007 through 2009 and concealed the true sources of her income.

If convicted the defendant faces a maximum possible sentence of 35 years in prison, a three-year period of supervised release, a fine of up to $1 million, and a $400 special assessment.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sozi Pedro Tulante.   

Click here to view the indictment  

An Information is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, EASTERN DISTRICTof PENNSYLVANIA
Suite 1250, 615 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
PATTY HARTMAN, Media Contact, 215-861-8525

Updated December 15, 2014