Former finance director admits to $3M fraud scheme for home renovations.

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  • Cindy Tappe, former finance director at NYU, pleads guilty to a $3 million fraud scheme.
  • Tappe diverted funds meant for minority and women owned businesses to fund personal expenses, including home renovations.

A former finance director at New York University, Cindy Tappe, 57, of Westport, Connecticut, pleaded guilty to a more than $3 million fraud scheme. Tappe used her position at NYU to divert money intended for minority and women owned businesses to fund renovations to her home. She created two shell companies while serving as the director of finance and administration for NYU’s Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and Transformation of Schools. The diverted funds were related to $23 million in state Education Department grants awarded to the Metropolitan Center between 2011 and 2018. Tappe has agreed to five years probation and $663,209 in restitution, and is scheduled to be sentenced on April 16.

Tappe’s actions not only impacted the quality of education for students with disabilities and multilingual students, but also denied minority and women owned businesses the opportunity to compete for funding. NYU’s internal audit office investigated Tappe and turned over findings to state officials, leading to the criminal charges. The university expressed disappointment in Tappe’s actions and is glad that the case has been brought to a close.

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