Former New York University finance director charged with $3.4 mln fraud

Former New York University finance director charged with $3.4 mln fraud

NEW YORK, Dec 19 (Reuters) – A previous director of finance at New York College was indicted on Monday for what prosecutors explained as the defrauding of the college to divert about $3.4 million meant to fund minority- and women-owned enterprises.

Cindy Tappe is accused of diverting the funds into bank accounts by using two shell companies she had developed and utilizing at least $660,000 of the money to renovate her Connecticut property and other personalized fees, like an $80,000 swimming pool.

She drafted wrong invoices for three subcontractors to submit in buy to divert the cash, and the subcontractors took among 3% and 6% without having carrying out any of the contracted perform, prosecutors from the Manhattan district attorney’s office mentioned.

The remainder of the diverted money was despatched to Tappe’s shell providers, Superior Galaxy Inc and PCM Group Inc, and utilized to pay out authentic grant-associated fees and to reimburse NYU staff for expenses and expert services, though with no appropriate college oversight, the indictment stated.

Tappe is charged with income laundering, grand larceny, falsifying business information and other fraud fees.

She could not right away be attained for comment and her lawyer, Deborah Colson, declined to remark.

The fraud commenced in 2012 soon just after Tappe turned the director of finance and administration for NYU’s Metropolitan Centre for Investigation on Fairness and Transformation of Universities and continued until eventually university officers confronted her in September 2018, prosecutors stated.

NYU discovered “suspicious exercise” by Tappe after it commenced utilizing a new digital payment method in 2018, John Beckman, a college spokesman, stated in a statement.

Findings by the school’s inside audit device have been shared with the New York Section of Education and the New York Condition Comptroller’s business. When confronted, she misled school officers about her partnership with the subcontractors and shell organizations, and Tappe left the college, the assertion explained.

“We are deeply upset that an worker abused the belief we placed in her in this way, and we are pleased to have been able to support in stopping this misdirection of taxpayer money,” the assertion said.

The money were being supposed to go to ladies- and minority-owned firms to provided expert services for English-language learners and students with disabilities in New York colleges.

Reporting by Jonathan Allen
Modifying by Invoice Berkrot

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