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Thursday, July 18, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

NYU Boss Accused of Embezzling $400,000

MANHATTAN (CN) - An administrator for New York University's Chemistry Department was charged with stealing more than $400,000 from the school by submitting thousands of phony requests for petty cash reimbursements.

John Runowicz "scavenged discarded cash register receipts from a local liquor store, attached them to reimbursement request forms, and falsely claimed that the expenses were for chemistry department supply purchases and other functions," District Attorney Robert Morgenthau said in a statement. "None of those receipts reflected legitimate business expenses."

The alleged thefts occurred from 2003-2009. Runowicz, 47, purportedly submitted more than 13,000 liquor store receipts and stole $409,000, prosecutors said.

At NYU he was responsible for overseeing the department's budget, expense reimbursements, supplies, and managing lab resources.

The DA's office said the theft was uncovered this summer by an internal audit.

The East Village resident was indicted on charges of grand larceny and falsifying business records. He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

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