Huffpost New York

John Runowicz, Ex-NYU Staffer, Admits $409,000 Liquor Store Receipts Scam

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NEW YORK — A former New York University staffer has admitted bilking the school out of $409,000 in reimbursements for bogus expenses he backed up with receipts fished from a liquor store's garbage.

John Runowicz (RUN'-oh-wits) pleaded guilty Monday to grand larceny. The sometime doo-wop musician's plea deal calls for one to three years in prison.

The now-fired Runowicz was an NYU chemistry department administrator. Prosecutors say he scrounged 13,000 receipts from a wine shop's trash and passed them off as documentation for spending on lab supplies and university events.

Defense lawyer Daniel S. Parker says Runowicz was struggling with about $150,000 in graduate school loans and other debts.

The 48-year-old Runowicz has a doctorate in ethnomusicology from NYU. He has made solo CDs under the name John Michael Hersey.