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December 2, 10

NEWS / University Employee & Husband Indicted for Alleged Theft of $485,000 from Student Government Organiz

TRENTON Ė Attorney General Paula T. Dow and Criminal Justice Director Stephen J. Taylor announced that the Division of Criminal Justice today obtained an indictment charging a suspended office manager at New Jersey City University and her husband with stealing approximately $485,000 in student funds.

According Director Taylor, the state grand jury indictment charges Shaunette P. Ruffin-Moody, 48, and Alex A. Moody, 51, of Jersey City, with conspiracy, official misconduct and theft by deception, all in the second degree, and forgery, a third-degree crime. The New Jersey State Police arrested Ruffin-Moody on Aug. 27 and her husband on Aug. 30 in connection with the alleged theft of funds from the Student Government Organization (SGO) at New Jersey City University.

The indictment alleges that between May 7, 2007 and July 8, 2010, Ruffin-Moody, who was office manager for the SGO, issued 247 unauthorized checks totaling approximately $485,000 from the SGO checking account made payable to herself, her husband or others. The defendants allegedly forged the signature of the schoolís associate dean of students on most of the checks.

The SGO is a non-profit organization funded by student activity fees charged to students. About $600,000 is deposited into the SGO checking account annually. Ruffin-Moodyís salary and benefits are paid from the funds, but most of the budget is used to fund student athletics and other student activities. As part of her duties, Ruffin-Moody filled out payment vouchers to have SGO checks issued. The vouchers and checks had to be validated and signed by other university officials. The unauthorized checks were discovered in July 2010, after several SGO checks bounced and Ruffin-Moody reported that the SGO had exceeded its budget. She was suspended without pay from her job as office manager after the suspicious checks were identified.

Deputy Attorney General Perry Primavera presented the case to the grand jury for the Division of Criminal Justice Corruption Bureau. The indictment stems from an investigation by Detective Sgt. Geoffrey P. Forker, Detective Mario DiRienzo, and the State Police Official Corruption North Unit.

Second-degree crimes carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in state prison and a $150,000 fine, while third-degree crimes carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $15,000 fine. The indictment is merely an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. The indictment was handed up in Superior Court in Mercer County, but assigned to Hudson County.




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