Investigators claim that an administrator for New York University's chemistry department heisted $409,000 from the school through a phony invoice scam. John Runowicz, 47, is accused of "scavenging" through the trash outside of Warehouse Wines on Broadway — just one block from his office — and fishing out liquor receipts that he would use to request petty cash reimbursements from NYU for chemistry department expenditures.
Prosecutors allege that over a six-year period, Runowicz defrauded the school with 13,000 receipts from the trash, according to NBC, augmenting his $50,000 annual salary with about $200 per day. He would send interns to NYU's bursar's office — where staffers didn't notice that his receipts had the words "Warehouse Wines" on top until the school conducted a routine audit, according to the Post.
The East Village resident, who is a member of the Doo-Wop band called "The Cadillacs," is scheduled to be arraigned today on second-degree grand larceny charges that could put him behind bars for 15 years, according to the tabloid. "Nobody looked to see that the receipts came from a liquor store," said DA Robert Morgenthau.