BOSTON (WBZ) ― Two Tufts University employees have pleaded not guilty to charges they stole nearly $1 million from the school for their own personal use.
Josephine Nealley, the former Director of the University's Office of Student Activities, and Raymond Rodriguez, the Budget and Fiscal Coordinator for the Office of Student Activities are accused of stealing $372,576 and $604,873 respectively.
Both are charged with larceny over $250, Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone said.
Nealley and Rodriguez were arraigned Tuesday morning.
"These two employees abused the access that they were entrusted with to steal literally hundreds of thousands of dollars for their own personal use," Leone said. "They have violated the trust of the University and the students that they were supposed to help."
Officials learned of the thefts through an anonymous tip. The D.A.'s office learned that Nealley would allegedly deposit money into the student activities fund and then transfer that money to her own personal bank accounts for use at places such as Foxwoods, IKEA, Whole Foods, Talbots and Omaha Steaks.
Auditors for the school said that Rodriguez wrote a check to himself for $100,000 and then deposited that check in a new account in his name. The money was allegedly used to pay credit card bills.
The D.A.'s office said Rodriguez opened credit cards in his name and in the name of Tufts University to purchase items for himself. He would then, officials said, pay the credit cards with checks from the Tufts University student activity account. Rodriguez allegedly used the money for trips to Paris, Montreal, New York, Las Vegas, Chicago and other destinations. He bought concert tickets and spent hundreds 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., Bloomingdales, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Coach and Prada.
Tufts Executive Vice President Patricia Campbell said she is deeply disappointed in Nealley and Rodriguez and has changed the way student activity funds are handled. She also ensured that no student activities program will be affected because of these thefts.