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2 accused of stealing nearly $1m from Tufts

Email|Print|Single Page| Text size + By Jeannie M. Nuss
Globe Correspondent / July 2, 2008

Two former Tufts University employees have been indicted on charges of stealing nearly $1 million from the university, Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone Jr. announced yesterday.

According to the university's internal investigations, the workers left Tufts in style, with one former employee sporting designer accessories from high-end retailers such as Gucci and Prada.

According to the indictments, Josephine Nealley, director of the student activities office from 1996 to 2007, and Raymond Rodriguez, budget and fiscal coordinator of the office from 2001 to 2007, stole funds in two separate acts.

Nealley, who is accused of stealing $372,576, was indicted on three counts of larceny. Rodriguez, accused of stealing $604,873, was indicted on two counts of larceny, Leone said in a statement.

Investigators discovered that Nealley had control of bank accounts from the student activities office after the Tufts internal audit team received an anonymous tip.

Nealley used her access to transfer money into her personal accounts, Leone said.

She then withdrew the cash and made purchases at retailers including The Disney Store, Whole Foods, Omaha Steaks, IKEA, and Foxwoods Resort and Casino, according to bank records, the district attorney said.

Rodriguez wrote himself a check from a university account for $100,000, which he deposited into a personal account he used to pay credit card bills, investigators said.

Between October 2005 and September 2007, Rodriguez used university funds to pay for vacations, concert tickets, and designer accessories, Leone said.

Rodriguez bought luxury items including wallets, handbags, and shoes from retailers such as Bloomingdale's, Gucci, and Prada, Leone said.

Tufts has since reorganized its student activities office.

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