Former college accountant gets 10 years for theft | Ap-top-news

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A former accounting director at the University of South Florida has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for stealing more than $12.8 million from the school.

Ralph Puglisi, 60, of Palm Harbor, was sentenced Monday in federal court in Tampa, court records show. The judge also ordered Puglisi to repay the stolen money. He pleaded guilty to mail fraud last year.

According to court documents, Puglisi was employed as an accounting manager for the University of South Florida Academic Medical Services Association, where he oversaw credit cards.

From 2014 to 2019, Puglisi defrauded the university by using multiple association credit cards to make more than $12.8 million in unauthorized charges, prosecutors said.

The charges included rent payments, major home renovations, travel, charter yachts and contributions to women affiliated with an interactive adult website, officials said.

Puglisi exploited his position as accounting manager to make false journal entries in books that created the illusion that his charges related to the association’s business operations, prosecutors said.

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