Former New York University finance director charged with orchestrating fraud

A former New York University director of finance was charged Monday with orchestrating a six-year fraud.

Cindy Tappe, 57, allegedly diverted $3.5 million intended for women- and minority-owned businesses and for other programs into bank accounts held by two shell companies she created and then used the money to pay personal and luxury expenses, including renovations to her Westport, Connecticut, home, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

Tappe is charged with money laundering, grand larceny, offering a false instrument and falsifying business records.

“Our multilingual learners and students with disabilities deserve top-notch services, and these funds should have gone directly to their schools,” said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. “Instead, we allege, the funds meant for student programs were used purely for personal gain by an NYU Director of Finance, who renovated a home in Connecticut and bought a swimming pool with the money.”

The New York State Education Department awarded NYU $23 million to administer a bilingual education program and a program meant to help special education. Some of that money was supposed to be used for grants to minority- and women-owned businesses.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg arrives to a courtroom, Dec. 06, 2022 in New York City.

Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Instead, according to the indictment, Tappe arranged for three certified minority- and women-owned business subcontractors to receive the overwhelming…

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