Ex-N.Y.U. Official Admits She Stole Public Money to Add Pool at Her Home

A former New York University administrator admitted on Tuesday to spending $80,000 in public money meant for minority- and women-owned businesses on a swimming pool at her Connecticut home as part of a broader $3.5 million fraud she orchestrated, officials said.

The former administrator, Cindy Tappe, made the admission while pleading guilty to second-degree grand larceny, court records show. Under a plea agreement with the Manhattan district attorney’s office, she will be sentenced to five years’ probation and must pay $663,209 in restitution to cover the full sum of money she diverted for personal expenses.

Ms. Tappe’s “fraudulent actions not only threatened to affect the quality of education for students with disabilities and multilingual students, but denied our city’s minority- and women-owned business enterprises a chance to fairly compete for funding,” Alvin L. Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney, said in a statement.

Deborah Colson, Ms. Tappe’s lawyer, said in a statement that her client “strongly regrets her misconduct.”

“She accepted responsibility for her wrongdoing in open court and will pay the restitution in full prior to sentencing,” Ms. Colson said. “After that, she looks forward to putting this case behind her.”

Ms. Tappe, 57, of Westport, Conn., carried out the scheme from 2012 to 2018 while she was the director of finance and administration at the Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and Transformation of Schools, or Metro Center, at N.Y.U.

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