JOHN RUNOWICZ, has been indicted on charges of grand larceny and falsifying business records

Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau today announced the indictment and arrest of a college administrator for stealing over $400,000 from New York University.

The defendant, JOHN RUNOWICZ, 47, has been indicted on charges of grand larceny and falsifying business records. The crimes charged in the indictment occurred between September 11, 2003 and January 27, 2009.

New York University reported the matter to the District Attorney’s Office this summer after the theft was uncovered by an internal audit.

The investigation leading to today’s indictment and arrest revealed that RUNOWICZ was the administrator of New York University’s chemistry department, where he was responsible for overseeing budgetary matters, handling expense reimbursement and supply requests from department members, and managing lab resources. Between 2003 and 2009, RUNOWICZ caused thousands of fraudulent requests for petty cash reimbursement to be submitted to the university Bursar’s Office. RUNOWICZ scavenged discarded cash register receipts from a local liquor store, attached them to reimbursement request forms, and falsely claimed that the expenses were for chemistry department supply purchases and other functions. None of those receipts reflected legitimate business expenses. Carrying on his scheme for over five years, RUNOWICZ fraudulently submitted over 13,000 receipts from the liquor store and stole $409,000.

RUNOWICZ has been indicted on one count of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, and six counts of Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, a class E felony. A class C felony is punishable by up to 5 to 15 years and a class E felony is punishable by up to 1⅓ to 4 years, both in prison.

The defendant is scheduled to be arraigned today in State Supreme Court, Part 1.

Assistant District Attorney Sally Pritchard, of the Special Prosecutions Bureau, is in charge of the prosecution under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Thomas Wornom, Chief of the Special Prosecutions Bureau.

Defendant Information:

651 East 14th Street
New York, New York