The APP reports: Moshe Newhouse has reached a deal with DA’s office, threatened the APP and bought himself a mansion. (See below)
The question is why are we keeping him on the board? Whether he is innocent or not, It does not reflect good on anyone. Can’t he be replaced? In the future the APP and media will be mentioning that he is a criminal, every time they mention his name. So for Pete’s sake why?!? The answer is….
Moshe is Ahron Kotler’s man on the Board of Ed. He makes sure all other board members fall in line and threatens them when needed. Moshe is a great real estate agent, is heavily invested in LKWD real estate and as long as he will toe the line for the establishment he will make good money.
The Article in the APP
LAKEWOOD – A first-term school board member was given amnesty from criminal prosecution after admitting he received Medicaid benefits over a three-year period that he was not eligible for, according to a confidential government document obtained by the Asbury Park Press.
Background: About our Medicaid fraud investigation
Moreover, two sources have told the Press that the amnesty program that was designed to recoup millions of dollars from Medicaid fraud ended up offering 50 percent discounts to the board member, Moshe S. Newhouse, and many other applicants.
Newhouse applied for the program in November, a year after he was elected to serve on the Lakewood Board of Education, the document obtained by the Press shows.
After negotiations with the state, Newhouse and his lawyer cut a deal and agreed to repay half of the $48,000 in government assistance benefits Newhouse received, according to two sources with knowledge of the program information. The sources are not being named because they are not authorized to speak to the media.
In an agreement with the state, Newhouse admitted he “improperly obtained Medicaid benefits” from 2013 through 2015. He agreed to pay $24,000 in restitution and a $1,000 fine, according to information obtained by the Press and confirmed by the sources.
Eleven days before he applied for amnesty, Newhouse took part in an agreement to buy a $500,000 Lakewood home ( 18 NUSSBAUM AVENUE) and then finalized the $405,000 mortgage agreement in May, according to publicly available land records. Typically a mortgage requires a 20 percent down payment. It’s unclear from the public records how Newhouse paid the other $95,000 in the sale price.
The amnesty deal-making runs contrary to New Jersey Comptroller Philip J. Degnan’s September 2017 statement in which he said participants must make “full restitution of all improperly received funds.” The office has said it has agreements for $2 million in restitution. The comptroller is in charge of rooting out waste and fraud in state government.
Degnan declined to comment for this story but did threaten legal action against the Press, including asking a judge to prevent the Press from publishing this story.
LAKEWOOD VAAD: Fraud amnesty applicants made mistakes, face stiff penalties
MEDICAID FRAUD: 159 granted amnesty, $2 million to be recovered
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The controversial amnesty program, billed as a “pilot” that allowed self-professed Medicaid cheats to avoid possible criminal prosecution if they agreed to certain terms in civil settlements, was announced months after 26 Lakewood residents were arrested in high-profile, early morning raids in the summer of 2017.
Newhouse has not been charged with any crime and was not arrested in the 2017 raids, which led to the arrest of a prominent local rabbi and other members of the dominant Orthodox Jewish community in New Jersey’s fifth-largest township.
The amnesty program was a way to address a larger problem in Ocean County, state officials said at the time, and created a civil instead of criminal remedy that allowed the government to recoup money paid out in unwarranted benefits.
The program swiftly drew backlash in the media and from Lakewood advocates who saw the program as special treatment for the township’s Orthodox Jewish population.
Ultimately 159 participants sought amnesty and entered into civil settlements with the state comptroller’s office and its Medicaid Fraud Division. Newhouse applied, documents show, but whether other public officials participated — and even the towns where applicants live — could not be determined by the Press.
Two people with knowledge of the amnesty program could not recall any other public officials who participated. The comptroller’s office has kept participants’ names and towns of residence confidential.
Newhouse received Medicaid benefits that he was not eligible for between January 2013 and the end of 2015, the year before he was elected to the public school board, according to the application signed by Newhouse and verified by the two sources. The Press was able to independently verify the accuracy of personal identifying information on the document along with confirmation from the two sources.
Threats of legal action
Newhouse, 34, is a licensed real estate agent in New Jersey, state records show, and works at an agency in Lakewood. He won a three-year term on the Lakewood Board of Education in November 2016.
In his role on the school board, Newhouse and the eight other board members make crucial spending and financial decisions for the district, which has a $165 million operating budget and this year received a $28 million loan from state taxpayers to balance its books.
Newhouse declined to comment for this story.
“I’m really not comfortable commenting on any personal matter,” he said during a phone interview. “I don’t want to comment.”
But he asked to see the confidential application document, saying “I’m not commenting on something that I don’t know about.”
A reporter asked if that meant Newhouse did not apply for amnesty, to which Newhouse responded: “That’s not what I said” and asked again to see the document. He ultimately cancelled a meeting for the next day with a reporter, who agreed to show him the document.
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In the meantime, his lawyer, Yosef Jacobovitch, emailed the Press, warning of possible legal and criminal consequences of publishing confidential information related to the amnesty program.
Publication “may cause irreparable harm to my clients and could result in criminal charges against you, in addition to whatever other remedies are or might be available at law or in equity, against both you and your paper,” the email from the lawyer stated.
Three days later, Degnan, the comptroller, sent a letter to the Press stating his office may seek a court injunction to prevent the Press from publishing what Degnan considered confidential Medicaid applicant information.
The Press had not contacted the comptroller’s office prior to the injunction threat.
“If you do not intend to keep this information confidential, we reserve the right to seek legal redress to prevent you from disclosing this information,” Degnan’s letter stated.
The comptroller’s office wrote that it has a duty to protect information about Medicaid applicants and beneficiaries. What it did not address was that participants in the amnesty program admitted to receiving Medicaid benefits for which they did not qualify.
The Press pushed back citing decades of First Amendment precedent that prohibit government censorship.
“Prior restraints against the press have never been approved by the (U.S.) Supreme Court, which has suggested it would consider doing so only in exceptional circumstances such as when a prior restraint is necessary to protect national security during wartime,” according to a letter from the Press’ parent company, Gannett Co. Inc., in McLean, Virginia, to the comptroller.