Updated 11:15 a.m. Wednesday. NEW YORK, N.Y. – A former Scarsdale High School guidance counselor and dean of students was indicted as a customer of a prostitution and money laundering operation, the New York state attorney general announced Tuesday.
David Mendelowitz, of White Plains, was one of three “johns” charged with numerous counts of patronizing a prostitute, possession of a controlled substance and hindering prosecution, a class E felony, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said in a press release.
During the time of his alleged criminal conduct, Mendelowitz was involved in various student programs, including the high school’s Drug and Alcohol Task Force, Schneiderman said.
Mendelowitz was also a guidance counselor at Horace Greeley High School in Chappaqua, before he worked in Scarsdale.
According to an indictment unsealed Tuesday in state Supreme Court in Queens, Mendelowitz paid for the services of prostituted women and for crack cocaine.
“This investigation led to the arrests of multiple individuals who were part of a criminal enterprise that made millions of dollars by profiting off the exploitation of women,” Schneiderman said. “The message we are sending is clear: these crimes will not be tolerated in the state of New York.”
Mendelowitz worked as a guidance counselor at Horace Greeley High School from 1986 to 1997, according to Andrew Selesnick, the assistant superintendent for leadership development and human resources for the Chappaqua Central School District.
Asked if Mendelowitz had any problems while at Horace Greeley, Selesnick said, "None whatsoever, that we were aware of."
Scarsdale Superintendent Michael V. McGill addressed the charges in an email to parents, stating that none of the conduct involved anyone in the community.
"I regret to inform you that we have just learned that a former dean at Scarsdale High School, David Mendelowitz, who retired in June, has been arrested," he said. "Despite this sad and most unfortunate news, we continue hopefully on our educational journey. Please know that our children's safety and wellbeing are constantly in the forefront of teachers' and school leaders' minds."
The 180-count indictment charges 19 individuals and one corporation – Somad Enterprises Inc. – with enterprise corruption and a variety of underlying crimes. Mendelowitz was one of three “johns” additionally charged.
A 16-month investigation identified Somad as an advertising agency that placed online and print advertisements and cable television commercials that promoted prostitution for clients’ businesses. Schneiderman said prostitution businesses paid more than $3 million in fees to Somad since January 2010, effectively laundering their illegal profits through Somad.
“All anyone has to do is open a copy of the Village Voice to get a good sense of how classified advertising and prostitution go hand-in-hand,” New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said. “Our focus remains the profiteers and johns engaged in promoting prostitution, not the women exploited by them.”