Tufts Officials Charged with Stealing

1214944541A Boston Daily tipster passed along a link to this announcement from the Middlesex County DA’s website. District Attorney Gerard Leone Jr. will indict two Tufts University employees on charges that they stole nearly $1 million from accounts that belonged to the Office of Student Activities.

That could have paid for a lot of punch and pie at student group meetings.

Josephine Nealley, who was Tufts’ Director of the Office of Student Activities from 1996 to 2007, is accused of stealing $372,576. Former Budget and Fiscal Coordinator Raymond Rodriguez is charged with stealing a whopping $604,873.

According to the press release, it was quite a scheme.

[I]t was determined that Nealley had control over bank accounts associated with the Office of Student Activities.

Nealley used one of these accounts to deposit student activity funds and would then transfer that money into her own personal bank accounts. She also used the account to withdraw cash and make personal purchases.

Over a time period from 2001 to 2007, Nealley transferred $63,500 to her personal line of credit, $91,000 to her personal checking account and also withdrew $174,908 in cash.

Nealley allegedly spent some the stolen money at IKEA. Which begs the question—if you’re stealing the money, why not upgrade to Jordan’s?

Rodriguez was no less crafty in his alleged theft, though his tastes were more upscale. He allegedly dropped “hundreds of thousands of thousands of dollars” on items from Gucci, Hermes, and Tiffany, among others.

Auditors discovered that Rodriguez wrote himself a check from a University account in the amount of $100,000. He then deposited that check into an account he opened in his name, and used the money to pay credit card bills.

Rodriguez also opened numerous credit cards in his name and in the name of Tufts University. Rodriguez would use the cards to purchase personal items and then pay the credit cards with checks drawn from the Tufts University student activity account.

Tufts executive vice president Patricia Campbell says that the university has revamped the way student activity funds are handled since the heist.

“Student activity funds were handled differently than other University business. That is no longer the case. We have significantly improved student activities systems to prevent future incidents. We have also taken steps to assure that no student activities programs are adversely affected.”

A date for the duo’s arraignment has not yet been set.