Skip To Content
Fast Forward

7 Charged With Stealing Millions In School Tech Funds In Hasidic New York Town

Federal prosecutors are charging seven men with stealing millions of dollars in federal funds intended for Orthodox yeshivas in Rockland County, New York.

The alleged scheme was to bilk a federal subsidy program called E-Rate, which is meant to pay for internet services for schools and libraries, by billing the program for services that were never delivered to Rockland County yeshivas.

Some of the internet services paid for by E-Rate had been requested by schools that ban internet use for religious reasons.

“For years, these defendants stole money from the E‑rate program, billing the E-rate program for equipment and services which were not in fact provided,” said Geoffrey S. Berman, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. “In doing so, the defendants fraudulently obtained millions of dollars in E rate funds to which they were not entitled, and which should lawfully have been spent to help provide access to technology to educate underprivileged children.”

According to NBC, the people indicted Wednesday are residents of Monsey, New York, and Kiryas Joel, the Rockland County village dominated by the Satmar Hasidic group.

The Forward reported in 2013 on exploitation of the E-Rate program by Orthodox groups in Brooklyn and New Jersey. The Forward reported at the time that schools in the heavily Orthodox Jewish town of Lakewood, N.J. had received more funding through the E-Rate program than schools in any other municipality in the entire state of New Jersey.

Contact Josh Nathan-Kazis at [email protected] or on Twitter, @joshnathankazis


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.