TAMPA, Florida (AP) – Tampa man, who was a former accounting director for a nonprofit, pleaded guilty to nearly hijacking $ 13 million. He spent most of the money on “adult” websites. Some of the money also went into his pocket.
Fifty-nine years old Ralph Puglisi worked at USF Association of the university medical service provides staff and support to USF Health and other medical providers in the Tampa Bay area. He faces up to 20 years in prison, AP reported.
Puglisi spent around $ 12 million on an adult website that allows users to subscribe to creator channels, according to court documents. The women on the site perform live video sex acts for clients.
Investigators found that Puglisi subscribed to a channel run by his stepson’s fiancée. Together they almost separate $ 750,000 in profit, Puglisi taking 60%.
“The investigation team developed a working theory that Puglisi worked either with the directors of the adult content provider or with the female profiles of the adult content provider in order to financially benefit from the funds charged,” said writes prosecutors.
In addition, the AP reported that Puglisi is accused of having made $ 647,000 in payments to a limited liability company he owned with his wife. Officials said he also used $ 374,000 for personal travel; $ 191,000 in rent for a family member; and $ 120,000 on home improvements.
The fraud was detected in November. Puglisi was fired, as well as his patron and internal auditor of the University Medical Service Association.
In a statement, USF said the UMSA had “put in place improved control structures, including upgraded financial information systems, to better protect against criminal acts.” The university sued Puglisi and filed an injunction prohibiting him from selling any property purchased with the embezzled funds, as the AP reported.
Puglisi’s attorney, Anthony Rickman, said in a statement that his client is cooperating and taking action to seek restitution.