Head of program to help kids stole $200K, bought Maserati and fur coat, authorities say
Programs for New Jersey children were robbed of $200,000 — and the man who took the money used it for lavish personal expenses like a a 2007 Maserati Quattroporte and a fur coat worth thousands of dollars, the U.S. Attorney's office said.
Robert E. Mays, 38, of Jersey City, was charged with sealing the funds from the Jersey City Child Development Centers in Jersey City while he served as its executive director, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced this week.
The organization provided early childhood development services and education to underprivileged children in Jersey City.
According to the U.S. Attorney's office, while Mays headed the organization from Sept. 10, 2013, to May 21, 2014., it received $8,020,919 in funds from the Administration for Children and Families, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, meant to benefit the children the program services.
Instead, Mays allegedly diverted funds to himself — increasing his annual salary from $96,500 to $155,000 after two months without authorization from the program, and withdrawing funds from JCCDC bank accounts without authorization from JCCDC.
If convicted of embezzlement, Mays could serve up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss resulting from the scheme, as well as mandatory restitution in the full amount of the loss to JCCDC, the U.S. Attorney's Office wrote.