Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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A former director of finance and research at New York University (NYU) has been indicted for embezzling millions of dollars in state funding for personal expenses. Cindy Tappe, 57, was fired from NYU in 2018 after it was revealed that she had misused $3.4 million in grant money intended for minority and women-owned businesses. According to prosecutors, Tappe used the funds to finance renovations to her expensive Connecticut home, including a $80,000 swimming pool, and to support her “lavish lifestyle.”

Tappe allegedly funneled the money, which was intended for two state programs designed to support students learning English and students in special education, through two shell companies that she had created. She is accused of drafting false invoices for contractors, who received a cut of the funds, and then using the remainder for personal expenses.

The Manhattan District Attorney and New York State Comptroller announced fraud charges against Tappe on Monday, including six counts of money laundering, fraud, and theft. Tappe pleaded not guilty and was released without bail. NYU released a statement expressing their “deep disappointment” that a former employee had committed such an act. Tappe is currently on leave from her new position at Yale University.

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