The medical school official has been charged in a $3.5 million fraud scheme while at NYU

Heidi Tong, staff photographer

Yale School of Medicine director Cindy Tabb was terminated Dec. 22 after embezzling $3.5 million from a New York state grant that she used for personal expenses, including an $80,000 swimming pool and nearly $600,000 in renovations to her Westport home. , Connecticut. .

Tapp was indicted by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office on December 19. She was accused of stealing money from the $23 million grant — specifically designed to uplift minority and women-owned businesses — while she was a principal at New York University. After being confronted by NYU leadership in 2018, Tabb left the school, according to NYU spokesperson John Beckman. She was hired by Yale University in 2019, where she served as Director of Operations for the Medical School until she was fired.

The university originally placed Tappe on leave after her indictment before eventually terminating her employment.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg wrote: statment. “…This $3.5 million fraud also negatively impacted our city’s minority and women-owned businesses by denying them the opportunity to compete fairly for and secure financing.”

The courts charged Tabby with one count of first-degree money laundering, one count of second-degree grand theft, two first-degree counts of providing a false instrument of deposit, and two counts of first-degree falsification of business records. Tabby pleaded not guilty to all four counts in the indictment, and her attorney did not respond to requests for comment.

The indictment follows the New York State Comptroller’s four-year investigation into Tapp’s alleged embezzlement while serving as director of finance and administration at NYU. Metropolitan Center for Equity Research and School Transformationalso known as the Metro Center.

According to Beckman, the New York State investigation began in 2018 after NYU implemented a new electronic payment system and detected “suspicious activity” from Tap. NYU reported the theft to the State Department of Education and Comptroller after an internal audit.

“We are very disappointed that an employee abused the trust we have placed in her in this way, and we are delighted to be able to help stop this misdirection of taxpayer money,” Beckmann wrote to the news.

According to university spokeswoman Karen Burt, when Tapp was hired, “Like all Yale employees, she underwent pre-employment screening, including reference and background checks.”

The grants Tapp allegedly misappropriated were intended to go to New York State Department of Education programs managed by New York University. The programs—the Regional Bilingual Education Resource Network and the Disproportionate Technical Assistance Center—are designed to increase access to education for minorities and people with disabilities.

As part of the grant, NYU disburses funds to subcontractors, who receive and use the grant funding. NYU agreed to the state’s requirement that a certain percentage of its subcontractors be from minority and women-owned business enterprises, or MWBEs.

The DA’s office alleges that Tappe arranged for three subcontractors, and those subcontractors were not charged, to receive grant funding earmarked for the MWBE. NYU paid these three companies nearly $3.5 million, but none of them completed their contracts. Instead, the three companies took 3 to 6 percent of the overhead and passed the remaining $3.25 million to two “shell shell companies” set up by Tappe: High Galaxy Inc. and PCM Group Inc. The three companies also submitted dummy invoices drafted by Tappe to justify the payments.

The DA’s office also alleges that Tappe used the two shell companies to steal at least $660,000 to pay for home renovations including a “new $80,000 swimming pool” at her Westport home.

In 2018, a program director at NYU confronted Tapi over payments to subcontractors. According to the Office of the Comptroller, Tapp sent an email to the heads of both educational programs, detailing the work done by MWBE subcontractors and “lying” claiming that no other company could provide the same services.

According to Stephen Duke, Professor Emeritus at Yale Law School, in such cases, the state first tries to recover the money without resorting to prosecution. When the state is unable to recover the money without trial, an indictment is filed to force the return of the money.

“Once an indictment has been issued, unless the defense proves that the charges are false or extremely weak, compensating for lost money rarely results in the charges being dropped,” Duke wrote to The News. “The state will insist on an appeal, perhaps to reduce the charges.”

New York University was founded in 1831.

Yash Roy

Yash Roy covers City Council and State Politics News. He is also a production and design editor. Originally from Princeton, New Jersey, he is a sophomore at Timothy Dwight College and a double major in Economics and American Studies.

Ivan Gorelik

Evan Gorelick Hall covers Woodbridge with a focus on Yale Corporation, endowments, and finance and development. He is the production and design editor, faculty, and academics previously covered in the news. Originally from Woodbridge, Connecticut, he is a sophomore at Timothy Dwight College and a double major in English and Economics.

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