A New York jury convicted four men Tuesday in connection with a scheme to siphon almost $6-million from Columbia University by manipulating the school’s bill-payment system, reports the Associated Press.
Prosecutors said George Castro, Jeremy Dieudonne, Joseph Pineras, and Walter Stephens Jr. use Mr. Castro’s information-technology firm to divert money meant for a hospital to personal and business bank accounts and that Joseph Pineras, who worked in Columbia’s finance office, was paid to aid the operation.
The suspects denied knowing that the funds flowing into the accounts were stolen. Mr. Castro, who was had $200,000 in cash when he was arrested, said he believed the money was coming from investors in his business lined up by Mr. Dieudonne. The latter, representing himself, said in court that he was conducting “perfectly legal business.”
The defendants each face at least one to three years in prison. Sentencing was set for Sept. 24.