– Attorney General Paula T. Dow and
Criminal Justice Director Stephen J. Taylor
announced that the husband of a suspended
office manager at New Jersey City University
has pleaded guilty to stealing over $485,000
from the university’s Student Government
Director Taylor, Alex A. Moody, 51, of Jersey
City, pleaded guilty yesterday afternoon
to second-degree theft by deception before
Superior Court Judge Lourdes I. Santiago
in Hudson County. The Division of Criminal
Justice Corruption Bureau obtained a state
grand jury indictment on Dec. 1, 2010 charging
Moody and his wife, Shaunette P. Ruffin-Moody,
48. The state will recommend that Alex Moody
be sentenced to seven years in state prison.
He also must pay $486,578 in restitution
under the plea agreement. The state charges
against the wife are pending.
Santiago scheduled Moody to be sentenced
on May 13.
New Jersey State Police arrested Shaunette
Ruffin-Moody and Alex Moody on state charges
in late August 2010. They were subsequently
charged by federal authorities. Both defendants
pleaded guilty in December to federal charges
related to the theft, which were filed by
the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.
They are awaiting sentencing on the federal
charges. The state sentence imposed on Alex
Moody will run concurrently with his federal
Attorney General Perry Primavera prosecuted
the case and took the plea for the Division
of Criminal Justice Corruption Bureau. The
state charges stem from an investigation
by Detective Sgt. Geoffrey P. Forker, Detective
Mario DiRienzo, and the State Police Official
Corruption North Unit.
was office manager for the Student Government
Organization (SGO) at New Jersey City University
in Jersey City. The SGO is a non-profit
organization funded by student activity
fees charged to students. As part of her
duties, Ruffin-Moody filled out payment
vouchers to have SGO checks issued. The
vouchers and checks had to be validated
and signed by other university officials.
State Police investigation revealed that
between May 7, 2007 and July 8, 2010, Ruffin-Moody
issued 247 unauthorized checks totaling
approximately $486,578 from the SGO checking
account made payable to herself, her husband
or others. The defendants forged the signature
of the school’s associate dean of
students on most of the checks. The unauthorized
checks were discovered in July 2010, after
several SGO checks bounced and Ruffin-Moody
reported that the SGO had exceeded its budget.
She was suspended without pay after the
suspicious checks were identified.