Manhattan District Attorney’s Office: DA Vance: Former City College of New York Bursar Charged With Stealing Student Checks

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October 26, 2021

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today filed charges against JOSEPH BOSELLI, 58, the former bursar of City College of New York, for stealing more than 900 checks, including the Most were intended for around 700 current and former students, totaling nearly $ 500,000. The defendant is indicted in a lawsuit in New York County Criminal Court with second-degree grand larceny, first-degree fraud scheme and offering a false instrument of deposit. [1]

“Many New Yorkers who enjoy world-class public education on their doorstep still face enormous financial burdens due to the high cost of living here,” District Attorney Vance said. “The last thing students and their families need to worry about are university employees stealing money they are rightfully owed. Thank you to our partners at the State Inspector General’s office. of New York for their assistance in this investigation and the financial fraud prosecutors in my office for their diligent work in ensuring that these thefts were discovered and that the accused was held accountable. ”

“This individual brazenly abused his position to steal money from hard-working students,” said Acting New York State Inspector General Robyn Adair. “New York State will not tolerate those who take advantage of others for ill-gotten gains. We thank the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and CUNY for working together to hold this individual accountable for his actions.”

“City College and CUNY were delighted to cooperate with our colleagues in the New York County District Attorney’s Office and other law enforcement agencies in the investigation of the allegations against Mr. Boselli. “, declared the Chancellor of CUNY, Félix V. Matos Rodríguez. This case is an example of CUNY’s continued commitment to identify and root out allegations of corruption, fraud, criminal activity and conflicts of interest by promptly referring these cases to the appropriate authorities and fully cooperating with investigations. . I congratulate everyone at CUNY and in law enforcement for their hard work on this matter. “

As alleged in the court documents and indicated in the court file, BOSELLI was employed as a treasurer at City College from October 2011 to October 2019. From August 16, 2012 to November 22, 2017, BOSELLI stole more than 900 checks totaling nearly $ 500,000. The checks were issued to over 700 current and former City College students by City College, the City University of New York (“CUNY”) and the City College Fund – a now defunct nonprofit that offered merit scholarships. and other financial rewards to City College students. The checks ranged from $ 4 to $ 3,318. Many stolen checks were intended for students to whom the university owed money, usually because they were receiving a stipend or scholarship, or because they had prepaid tuition or fees before the school does not receive a loan or other payment.

In many cases, the endorsement sections on the back of checks bore false signatures from students. Some of the checks say, in what appears to be the same handwriting, “pay payable to Joseph Boselli”. The defendant usually deposited the stolen checks into his personal bank accounts using an ATM. BOSELLI spent the stolen funds on flights to San Francisco, California; Jacksonville, Florida; and Milan, Italy; hotels in Aruba and Italy; and purchases from Gucci, Luxury Goods Italia SPA and Blue Nile LLC, an online jewelry company.

In email correspondence with several students regarding their missing money, BOSELLI left them with the impression that the matter was under investigation. In at least two cases, after students inquired about their missing checks, he appealed to the City College Fund for student aid and provided them with that check instead of the original check owed to them.

Investigators from the Manhattan DA office and the New York State Inspector General’s office opened an investigation into alleged thefts of employees at the Bursar’s Office in 2017. Later in the course of this investigation, investigators from the DA’s Manhattan office discovered this scheme.

DA Assistant Jessica Olive handled the prosecution of this case under the supervision of DA Assistants Ryan Gee (Deputy Head of the Financial Fraud Office), Hope Korenstein (Deputy Head of the Financial Fraud Office) and Kofi Sansculotte (Chief of the Financial Fraud Office) and Executive Assistant DA Christopher Conroy (Head of the Investigations Division). DA Assistant Maria Luna, Paralegal Kristen Grimes and DANY Squad Detective Jose Toala also participated in the investigation. Senior Financial Investigator Chris Ann Fenty of the Office of Forensic Accounting and Financial Investigations (“FAFI”) provided assistance, under the supervision of Irene Serrapica (Deputy Office Manager of FAFI) and Robert Demarest (Office Manager) by FAFI). Former deputy prosecutors David Crowley and Christopher Hirsch, former paralegal Malik James and former senior accountant Elodia Marco also participated in the investigation.

District Attorney Vance thanked the New York State Inspector General’s office, in particular Senior Investigative Advisor Kenneth Michaels and Audit Director Giovanni Liotine; the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, in particular Associate Lawyer Daniel Lewis and Forensic Auditor Festus Anaemeje; CUNY’s Office of Risk, Audit and Compliance, in particular Edward A. Jayetileke, Director of University Investigations; the Department of Public Safety at City College, in particular investigative specialist Edward Hickey and Lieutenant Anthony Laperuta; and City College, in particular Felix Lam, vice president of finance, and Paul Occhiogrosso, legal advisor to the president.

Information about the defendant:

JOSEPH BOSELLI

Hartsdale, New York

Charges:

  • Grand Larcin au Second Degree, a class C crime, two counts
  • Pattern of first degree fraud, class E felony, one count
  • Offering fake instrument of deposit, Class E felony, two counts

[1] The charges contained in the complaint are allegations only, and the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty. All factual recitations are derived from documents filed in court and statements made on the court record.


This press release was produced by Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. The opinions expressed here are those of the author.


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