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OIG: Office of Inspector General
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Investigative Report

For Immediate Release July 1, 2008
Contact: Corey Welford/Jessica Venezia 781-897-8325

Two Former Tufts Employees Indicted For Stealing Nearly $1 Million From University

WOBURN - Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone informed the public today that two former Tufts University employees have been indicted for stealing nearly $1 million from the University in two separate schemes.

Josephine Nealley, Director of the University’s Office of Student Activities between 1996 and 2007, and Raymond Rodriguez, the Budget and Fiscal Coordinator for the Office of Student Activities between 2001 and 2007, were indicted today by a Middlesex Grand Jury. Nealley is alleged to have stolen $372,576 and was indicted on three counts of larceny over $250. Rodriguez is alleged to have stolen $604,873 and was indicted on two counts of larceny over $250.

An arraignment date for these defendants has not yet been set.

"These two employees abused the access that they were entrusted with to steal literally hundreds of thousands of dollars for their own personal use," District Attorney Leone said. "They have violated the trust of the University and the students that they were supposed to help. We do want to commend the work of Tufts University for uncovering this scheme and for referring it to our office for a full investigation and prosecution."

"We appreciate the District Attorney's commitment and cooperation. We are deeply disappointed that two individuals who were trusted by students and colleagues abused that trust," said Patricia Campbell, Tufts Executive Vice President. "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."

The schemes were first discovered by a member of the Tufts Internal Audit Department who had received an anonymous tip. Based on a follow-up investigation, it 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. Bank records indicate that Nealley used the debit/ATM card to make purchases at:

Foxwoods Resort and Casino
IKEA
Whole Foods
The Disney Store
Talbots
Omaha Steaks

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. In total, she is alleged to have stolen $372,576 from the University through this scheme. She was not authorized to take or spend any of this money by the University.

During the investigation, auditors also discovered that Rodriguez stole $604,873 from University student activity accounts. 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. From October 2005 to September 2007, Rodriguez is alleged to have used Tufts money to purchase:

Trips to Paris, Montreal, New York, Las Vegas, Chicago, and other destinations
Tickets to concerts such as Madonna, Celine Dion, Rent, and opera performances

The defendant is also alleged to have spent hundreds of thousands of thousands of dollars on luxury items such as wallets, watches, handbags, shoes, electronics, and home goods from high end retailers such as:

Gucci
Tiffany and Co.
Bloomingdale’s
Louis Vuitton
Hermes, Coach, and Prada

These charges are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

The prosecutor assigned to this case is Assistant District Attorney John Verner. The investigation was conducted by the Tufts University Audit and Management Services as well as the Middlesex District Attorney’s PACT Unit.

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The Middlesex District Attorney's Office - Gerard T. Leone Jr.
15 Commonwealth Ave. | Woburn, MA 01801 | Phone (781) 897-8300


 
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Last Modified: 07/11/2008