– Attorney General Paula T. Dow and
Criminal Justice Director Stephen J. Taylor
announced that a former office manager at
New Jersey City University in Jersey City
was sentenced to state prison today for
helping her husband steal $486,578 from
the university’s Student Government
to Director Taylor, Shaunette P. Ruffin-Moody,
49, of Jersey City, was sentenced to three
years in state prison by Superior Court
Judge Lourdes I. Santiago in Hudson County.
Ruffin-Moody pleaded guilty on July 25 to
a charge of forgery, admitting that she
assisted her husband in the thefts. She
will be permanently barred from public employment.
The Division of Criminal Justice obtained
a state grand jury indictment on Dec. 1,
2010 charging Ruffin-Moody and her husband,
Alex A. Moody, 52. Alex Moody pleaded guilty
to theft and was sentenced on May 3 to six
years in prison by Judge Santiago. The couple
must pay full restitution of $486,578.
state sentences will run concurrently with
federal sentences imposed on the couple
on April 26 based on their guilty pleas
to charges filed by the U.S. Attorney’s
Office. Ruffin-Moody was sentenced to 18
months in federal prison, and Moody was
sentenced to six years in federal prison.
Attorney General Perry Primavera prosecuted
the case for the Division of Criminal Justice
Corruption Bureau and represented the state
at the sentencing. The state charges stem
from an investigation by Detective Sgt.
Geoffrey P. Forker, Detective Mario DiRienzo,
and the New Jersey State Police Official
Corruption North Unit. The New Jersey State
Police arrested the couple on state charges
in late August 2010. They were subsequently
charged by federal authorities.
was office manager for the Student Government
Organization (SGO) at New Jersey City University.
The SGO is a non-profit organization funded
by student activity fees. 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
from May 7, 2007 to July 8, 2010, Ruffin-Moody
issued 247 unauthorized checks totaling
about $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.