Former Executive Director of Jersey City Child Development Centers in Jersey City Charged with Stealing at Least $200,000
NEWARK, NJ—The former executive director of the Jersey City Child Development Centers Inc. (JCCDC) in Jersey City, New Jersey, was charged today with stealing more than $200,000 from the organization, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Robert E. Mays, 38, of Jersey City, New Jersey, was arrested this morning by federal agents and charged by complaint with one count of embezzlement and theft from JCCDC, an organization which provided early childhood development services and education to under-privileged children in Jersey City. Mays appeared this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor in Newark federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Mays was the executive director of JCCDC from Sept. 10, 2013, to May 21, 2014. JCCDC received $8,020,919 in funds from the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), for the benefit of the children who attended the child development programs that were managed by JCCDC. Mays was not authorized to expend JCCDC funds solely for his personal benefit. He allegedly engaged in a scheme to steal and take by fraud more than $200,000 from JCCDC principally by: (1) unilaterally increasing his annual salary from $96,500 to $155,000 without authorization from JCCDC, after two months of his employment with JCCDC; and (2) withdrawing funds from JCCDC bank accounts for his personal benefit without authorization from JCCDC. Mays allegedly took JCCDC funds intended to benefit children to purchase, among other things, a 2007 Maserati Quattroporte and a fur coat worth thousands of dollars.
The embezzlement count with which Mays is charged carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss resulting from the scheme, as well as mandatory restitution in the full amount of the loss to JCCDC.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Richard M. Frankel, and special agents of the Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, under the direction of Scott J. Lampert, with the investigation leading to today’s arrest. He also thanked the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Esther Suarez, for its assistance in the investigation.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys José R. Almonte and Mala Ahuja Harker of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Special Prosecutions Division.
The charge and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.