Man Spends Most Of $13 Million Embezzled On Adult Website
A former employee of a nonprofit corporation affiliated with the University of South Florida has pleaded guilty to embezzling $12.8 million, and pouring most of it into an adult website.
On Thursday, August 13, the University of South Florida announced that former employee Ralph Puglisi had signed a plea agreement in June after embezzling money in the adult website mygirlfund.com.
The 59-year-old was an accounting manager for University Medical Service Association (UMSA). The USMA is a nonprofit organisation that provides staffing and other support for the university’s health care enterprise.
In November 2020, leaders at UMSA were notified of suspicious activity, and Puglisi was fired days after. Additionally, an investigative report commissioned by Greenberg Traurig found that the corporation’s director of financing who supervised Puglisi was fired.
In total it was found that Puglisi racked up $12.86 million in non-business charges on UMSA credit cards. At least $11.5 million of this money went to mygirlfund.com in a staggering 22,000 interactions with the site.
Puglisi frequently gave money to a woman who has been identified as his stepson’s fiancée. Excel documents recovered have revealed that the pair split $743,968 (USD) in profits, with Puglisi keeping 60%.
The report noted:
The investigative team developed a working theory that Puglisi worked either with the principals of the adult content provider, or with the female profiles of the adult content provider in order to financially benefit from funds charged to the UMSA credit card.
The website in questions lets users buy credits and then gift them to those with profiles on the site. The site users who receive the credits can then cash them out for real money. Puglisi allegedly did this with multiple women, while it was also found he spent $43,662 at Disney World resorts, as well as a number of other large payments and expenditures, such as personal travel, rent for family members, household improvements and a personal real estate attorney in the Virgin Islands, Tampa Bay Times reports.
As a result of this embezzlement and the investigation, Puglisi has pleaded guilty to scheming to defraud UMSA and agreed to repay the money.
Anthony Rickman, Puglisi’s attorney, said in a statement, ‘Mr. Puglisi has been cooperative throughout the investigation and has taken steps toward paying restitution to the University of South Florida.’
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