Updated: Former Triangle accountant faces indicted for alleged embezzlement of over $180,000
Former Princeton Triangle Club accountant and McCarter Theatre General Manager Thomas Muza has been indicted by a state grand jury for allegedly embezzling over $180,000 from the club, New Jersey’s Office of the Attorney General announced Monday.
Muza was indicted on a charge of second-degree theft by unlawful taking, which carries with it a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a criminal fine of up to $150,000. He will appear in Mercer County Court at a later date for arraignment.
The alleged theft was first reported last December.
The press release read that Muza, as signatory on the club’s bank account, allegedly stole nearly $90,000 by writing Triangle Club checks directly to himself, using the money to pay living expenses such as credit card debt, mortgage payments and utility bills. He also allegedly wrote $95,000 worth of Triangle Club checks to make direct payments on three personal credits and to an “unauthorized third party.”
The investigation was conducted both by the Division of Criminal Justice’s Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau and the University’s Department of Public Safety.
University Spokesperson Martin Mbugua, speaking on behalf of DPS, deferred comment to the Attorney General’s office.
“Rather than acting as an honest steward and ensuring that funds were strictly used to carry on the Triangle Club’s grand entertainment tradition, Muza allegedly abused the trust placed in him and shamelessly treated the club’s bank account like his own,” the release read, citing Acting Attorney General John Hoffman.
Muza was paid an annual salary of $4,000 as accountant for Triangle Club, a nonprofit organization. McCarter Theatre, for which he served as general manager, is a nonprofit professional theater company. He was terminated as accountant and suspended as manager on Nov. 19 last year. Muza was charged on Nov. 7, 2013.
Triangle Board of Graduate Trustees Chairman Marc Segan ’77 said of the charges, “The man stole a considerable amount of money and broke face with friends and professional colleagues. He had both ethical and professional obligations, which he ignored.”
Though Segan said that the club had been harmed by Muza’s alleged actions, he added that the club is stable and healthy.
“The business of Triangle goes on,” Segan said. “The club is almost 125 years old and is the source of great joy and creativity in the Princeton campus and community, and will continue to serve that role.”
Peter Aseltine, a spokesperson for the Attorney General’s office, could not be reached for comment as of press time.