From Press staff reports

A Brigantine woman was charged Thursday in an alleged scheme to defraud the Jewish Heritage Programs, a nonprofit corporation based in Philadelphia, of more than $400,000, U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger announced.

Rochelle Biesenthal, 64, carried out the scheme between 2002 and April 2009 while employed as a bookkeeper at JHP, federal charges state. 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.

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.

She is charged with one count of wire fraud and three counts of tax evasion. 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 FBI and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sozi Pedro Tulante.

Senior copy editor for the Press of Atlantic City. Have worked as a reporter, copy editor and news editor with the paper since 1985. A graduate of the University of Delaware.

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