Florida accountant scams his employer out of $12 million and spends most of it on camgirls

Over a five-year period, an accounting director for the University Medical Services Association (UMSA) at the University of South Florida spent $12,860,744.07 of UMSA money on renovations, travel, yachts and “women affiliated with an interactive adult website”. He has just been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Department of Justice:

US District Judge William F. Jung sentenced Ralph Puglisi (60, Palm Harbor) to 10 years in federal prison for mail fraud. As part of his sentence, the court also ordered Puglisi to pay full restitution in the amount of $12,860,744.07 to the University of South Florida and entered an order of forfeiture in the amount of $12,860,744.07. $12,800,000, the proceeds of his mail fraud scheme. Puglisi had pleaded guilty on August 26, 2021.

According to court documents, Puglisi was employed as the accounting manager for the University of South Florida Academic Medical Services Association (UMSA). In this position, he helped oversee the administration of UMSA’s credit cards. Beginning in or around June 2014 and continuing through November 2019, Puglisi defrauded UMSA by using several of that entity’s credit cards to make $12,860,744.07 in unauthorized charges for his own benefit, including including rent payments, major home renovations, travel, charter yachts and contributions. women affiliated with an interactive adult website. Puglisi exploited his position as accounting manager to make false journal entries in ledgers that created the illusion that his charges were related to UMSA’s business operations.

A report from the Tampa Bay Times states that according to the man’s attorney, things turned sour in 2014 when Puglisi met his partner Donna McCoy. By then he had worked for the USMA for eight years.

“Puglisi believed that to keep Donna happy he should provide her with a luxurious lifestyle,” the memo reads. “So in addition to using the…credit cards for his own personal expenses, he also used the cards for furnishings, travel and gifts for her and her family.”

The memo says Puglisi felt compelled to help him “achieve his dream job of working in international real estate,” so the two used the stolen funds to open bank accounts, buy land in the Caribbean and pay the salaries and expenses of their company, Tropical Investissement Familial.

The same Tampa Bay Times report says the majority of the nearly $13 million — about $11.5 million — was spent on the mygirlfund.com website. Another report states that USF sued MyGirlFund demanding that it return some of the money, but MyGirlFund says – hilariously, we might add – it’s not their fault “Puglisi found USF’s incompetence too tempting” and that no controls were in place at USF to prevent the guy from funneling millions of dollars to camgirls.

According to a USF investigation, Puglisi visited some users’ profiles thousands of times and organized a setup where he paid money and received 60% of it in return. One of the profiles was that of his stepson’s wife.

Along with another user in Canada, who also sent money back, he paid over $60,000 for her and her friends to take trips to Orlando and stay at Walt Disney World Resorts. These women, as well as several members of the Puglisi family who benefited from the stolen funds, are also being prosecuted.

Apparently, Puglisi also released a 90 Day Fiancé David and believed he was married to one of the camgirls:

The memo from his attorney said he had also turned to a website, mygirlfund.com, for companionship and believed he was in a relationship with a webcam model. He started sending her money in hopes that she could support her family and leave the website. His attorney said he sent him $6 million. She is sued by the USF, who are trying to recover the money.

USF says it has since “implemented strengthened control structures, including upgrading financial information systems, to better protect against criminal acts.”

Former USF accounting director sentenced to 10 years in prison for mail fraud [Department of Justice]
Accounting director who managed USF health care funds embezzled millions [Tampa Bay Times]
Manager who stole nearly $13 million from USF is sentenced to 10 years in prison [Tampa Bay Times]

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