CYRUS R. VANCE, JR.

DISTRICT ATTORNEY

DISTRICT ATTORNEY – NEW YORK COUNTY FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 2, 2012 CONTACT: Erin Duggan 212-335-9400

DISTRICT ATTORNEY VANCE ANNOUNCES INDICTMENT OF JEFFREY BERNSTEIN FOR STEALING MORE THAN $2.5 MILLION FROM NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION Former Director of Administration and President of the Board of Trustees of The Albert Ellis Institute Charged With Using Stolen Money For Personal Expenses Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the indictment of JEFFREY BERNSTEIN, 62, for stealing more than $2,500,000 from the Albert Ellis Institute (“AEI”). BERNSTEIN was indicted on one count of Grand Larceny in the First Degree and two counts of Money Laundering in the First Degree. 1 “For the second time this week, a person in a trusted position at a nonprofit is charged with looting its coffers for personal gain,” said District Attorney Vance. “Thefts from non-profits divert funds meant to support the goals and missions of the organizations, and erode the trust of donors and volunteers. I urge all nonprofit organization to re-double their efforts to detect fraud, and report it by calling my Office’s Complaint Hotline at 212-335-8900.” According to documents filed in court, BERNSTEIN was the former Director of Administration for AEI, a non-profit psychotherapy institute located at 45 East 65th Street in Manhattan. Founded in the 1950’s, AEI supports research, provides continuing education for mental health professionals, and offers self-help workshops and affordable psychotherapy for the public. BERNSTEIN began serving as President of AEI’s Board of Trustees in 2006, and was appointed Director of Administration in January 2010. As Director of Administration, the defendant was responsible for, among other things, overseeing AEI’s finances and managing its bank accounts. Between January 2010 and February 2011, according to today’s charges and statements made on the record in court, BERNSTEIN stole more than $2.5 million from AEI by making
The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
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nearly 80 unauthorized wire transfers to three business accounts that he controlled: Consolidated Services, Inc., Two Bros, LLC, and Asset Resources Inc. BERNSTEIN is also charged with writing a check from AEI payable to Two Bros, LLC. AEI was not affiliated with and did not do business with any of those companies. According to documents filed in court and statements made on the record in court, once BERNSTEIN deposited the stolen money into these accounts, it was immediately transferred to other business accounts that he also controlled. Once funneled into this web of accounts, the stolen money was either withdrawn as cash or used to pay both business expenses and personal expenditures. The expenditures included loan repayments, payments to family members, legal and accounting fees, credit card bills, car expenses, insurance, and condo fees. Assistant District Attorney Gloria Garcia is prosecuting this case, under the supervision of Special Prosecutions Bureau Chief Thomas Wornom and Deputy Bureau Chiefs Judy Salwen and Archana Rao. Financial Investigator Michelle Burgos of the District Attorney’s Forensic Accounting and Financial Investigations Bureau assisted in the investigation. Investigator Keith Christensen of the District Attorney’s Investigations Bureau assisted in the arrest of the defendant, under the supervision of Senior Investigator Santiago Batista and Chief Investigator John Bilich. Defendant information: JEFFREY BERNSTEIN, D.O.B. 1/22/1950 New York, NY Charges: • Grand Larceny in the First Degree, a class B felony, 1 count • Money Laundering in the First Degree, a class B felony, 2 counts ### Additional news available at: www.manhattanda.com Follow us at twitter.com/ManhattanDA New York County District Attorney | duggane@dany.nyc.gov | 212-335-9400