Cecilia Chang, St. John's 'Dean of Mean' On Trial For Embezzlement, Was Prime Suspect In Husband's 1990 Murder, Report Says

11/05/2012 11:41 am ET
  • Ron Dicker General Assignment Reporter, The Huffington Post
ABC News

Cecilia Chang, the St. John’s University dean accused of embezzling more than $1 million and making a student hand-wash Chang's dirty underwear in a pattern of labor abuse, may have other dirty laundry, the New York Daily News reported Monday.

Citing a source close to the case, the tabloid wrote that Chang was the main suspect in her husband's 1990 street execution. The evidence was apparently damning: as he lay dying in the hospital with three bullet wounds and a tube blocking his speech, Ruey Fung Tsai wrote on a piece of paper to detectives, "My wife did this," the source said.

The FBI was notified of the never-solved cold case. Investigators imposed surveillance on Chang after the murder but weren't able to implicate her beyond the note, the News wrote. Two soda deliverymen saw an Asian man shoot Ruey Fung Tsai in front of his business in Brooklyn, N.Y. The killer then disappeared into the subway.

Amid that bombshell, Chang, 59, continues to be on trial in Brooklyn for alleged financial shenanigans at St. John's, including 200 counts of theft, according to reports. Much of the money, prosecutors say, went to support a gambling habit, the New York Post wrote. Prosecutors also say she forced foreign exchange students to perform outrageous personal tasks for her and her son, threatening to rescind their scholarships if they didn't comply.

One former Chinese student famously testified that she was forced to launder the dean's dirty underwear by hand and doctor documents to make her lavish expenses appear legitimate, the Post said.

Chang was suspended in 2010 as the dean of the Queens school's Institute of Asian Studies Center after an audit revealed large amounts of unexplained missing money from the center's coffers. Then students came forward with accounts of outlandish subservience imposed by Chang, according to CBS.

When asked to comment on the murder accusation, the tabloid-dubbed "Dean of Mean" replied to the News, "My lawyer says I am not supposed to answer any questions."

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