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Former principal of defunct school arrested on theft charges January 6, 2009

Posted by jefhenningeresq in News.
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Ruben Rosario, the former principal of the defunct Explorer Charter School in Brevard County, Florida was arrested today on grand theft charges.  Jay Maer, the former finance director of the school is also charged.  However, them men do not share the same problem.  While Rosario has four charges, Maer has 46.  Maer is also an ex-con.  Guess who’s got the better chance of getting a good deal to testify against the other?

Besides that, Rosario seems to have a great defense.  When the school was taken over and eventually shut down, law enforcement found that many financial records have gone missing.  That alone will give Rosario a lot of room to maneuver since the allegations are that Rosario took payments he was not entitled to.  Of course, without records, memos and other documents, it will be tough for the prosecutor to prove that Rosario knew one thing or the other.

One of the best defenses in any white collar crime case is the civil case defense.  I’m sure someone has a better name for this.  Basically, it should not be a criminal offense of this guy to be a bad principal.  If he took money he should not have taken, but he took it all openly, then it is a civil case and not a criminal case. 

For example, he allegedly took $14,000 for a vacation that he was not suppose to take.  Did he tell everyone that he was going on vacation?  Is there a clear paper-trail regarding the vacation and the payment from the school for his vacation?  In other words, but for the issue of whether or not he was entitled to do this, did this appear legit?  If so, they have no criminal intent.  No criminal intent = civil case. 

Maer, on the other hand, is alleged to have taken payments for extra work that he did not perform.  This could easily happen once by mistake.  But the article indicates that he did this on numerous occassions.  That is tough to defend and a clear pattern of fraud quickly emerges.  As I indicated earlier, Rosario’s best defense may be to flip on Maer in exchange for a great deal.

The article is here.

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