Dominican accused of $5.7 million theft from Columbia University

(Reuters) - A New York businessman is accused of stealing nearly $6 million from Columbia University in what prosecutors on Wednesday described as "a crime perpetrated in cyberspace."

George Castro, 48, diverted a series of payments from the Ivy League university to New York Presbyterian Hospital to the bank account of a company he had set up in October and November, according to court documents.

Castro, of the city's Bronx borough, was indicted on charges of grand larceny, money laundering and criminal possession of stolen property. If convicted on all counts, he could be sentenced to as much as 25 years in prison.

"This defendant stole more than $5 million in fewer than two months -- highlighting the importance of rapidly responding to major economic crime perpetrated in cyberspace," Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said in a statement.

Prosecutors released no further details of the electronic heist.

So far, $4.1 million of the stolen funds have been identified, frozen or seized, they said.

Castro spent more than $300,000, they said, paying $80,000 for a new Audi Q7 and $18,000 on Apple products.

At the time of his arrest, Castro had more than $200,000 in cash, prosecutors said.


Source:  Picture of George was taken from article in

Go back | Date: 18 Dec 2010
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