United States Attorney
District of New Jersey
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Rebakah Carmichael
NEW JERSEY CITY UNIVERSITY EMPLOYEE PLEADS GUILTY TO STEALING, LAUNDERING OVER $500,000 FROM STUDENT GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION
NEWARK, N.J. – The suspended office manager for the New Jersey City University ("NJCU") Student Government Organization ("SGO"), pleaded guilty today to stealing over $500,000 in federally-subsidized funds from the university and conspiring to launder the proceeds of the theft, United States Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Shaunette R. Moody, 48, of Jersey City, N.J., pleaded guilty to an Information charging her with one count of money laundering conspiracy and one count of theft from an organization receiving federal benefits. She entered her guilty plea before United States District Judge William J. Martini in Newark federal court.
According to documents filed in the case and statements made during the guilty plea proceeding:
Moody admitted that she agreed with others to steal funds from NJCU by writing unauthorized checks drawn on the NJCU SGO bank account. In total, from January 4, 2007, through July 21, 2010, she and her husband Alexander Moody, 51, also of Jersey City, stole approximately 275 checks that were then fraudulently signed and made payable to themselves and co-conspirators Arsenio Willey, Curtis Shearer, Kimberly Jackson, and others.
Shaunette Moody acknowledged that they agreed to negotiate the stolen checks, for approximately $502,117, in a manner intended to disguise the nature, source, and control of the stolen funds. She and her co-conspirators used the stolen money to purchase goods and services for their own benefit, including entertainment and gambling in Atlantic City, N.J.
The Moodys were originally charged by Indictment on September 2, 2010. Willey, Shearer, and Jackson were charged by Complaint with conspiracy to steal federally-subsidized funds on September 7, 2010. The charges against Alexander Moody, Willey, Shearer, and Jackson remain pending.
The money laundering conspiracy charge to which Shaunette Moody pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of twice the value of the laundered property. The theft charge to which the she pleaded guilty carries a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of twice the value of the gain from the offense. In addition, she agreed to pay restitution to NJCU, and to resign from her position and never seek future employment with NJCU. Sentencing for the defendant is scheduled for March 24, 2011.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of IRS – Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Victor W. Lessoff, and special agents of the U.S. Department of Education, Office of the Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Brian Hickey, for the investigation leading to today's guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Randall H. Cook of the United States Attorney's Office Criminal Division in Newark.
The charges and allegations made in the Indictment against Alexander Moody and the Complaint against Willey, Shearer, and Jackson are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.10-364
Shaunette R. Moody: Alan D. Bowman, Esq., Newark, N.J.