4 convicted in $6 million theft from Columbia U.

AP News
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Posted: Aug 07, 2012 4:12 PM
4 convicted in $6 million theft from Columbia U.

NEW YORK (AP) — Four men have been convicted in a computer-savvy scheme to steal almost $6 million from Columbia University by tampering with its bill-payment system.

Jurors delivered their verdict Tuesday against George Castro, Jeremy Dieudonne (dyew-dohn-AY'), Joseph Pineras, and Walter Stephens (STEHF'-fehnz) Jr.

The Manhattan district attorney's office says the scam entailed manipulating Columbia's vendor-payment system to siphon off money that was meant for a hospital.

Prosecutors say the money was diverted into a bank account held by Castro's information technology business. Some cash later went into accounts held by Dieudonne and Stephens.

Pineras worked in Columbia's finance department. Prosecutors say he got about $10,000 for aiding the scheme.

The defense said the men didn't realize money was being stolen. Some defendants pinned blame on a fifth man who testified against them.