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McCarter Theatre General Manager Thomas Muza, who also worked as Princeton Triangle Club’s accountant, has been charged with embezzling over $100,000 from Triangle, the N.J. State Attorney General’s Office announced Monday.
Muza was dismissed from his job with Triangle and suspended from his job at McCarter on Nov. 19 as a result of the investigation, the release said. He surrendered to state authorities last Wednesday and has since been released pending a court appearance.
The alleged thefts were first discovered by the law firm that regularly serves as counsel for Triangle, according to the release.
Muza had worked for both McCarter and Triangle since 1993 and had even been featured in the magazine Esquire as one of 35 “Employees of the Month” in September 2012.
“[Muza] gives more of himself than one can reasonably expect from anyone,” a quote next to a photo of Muza read. The short feature explained that the “accolades” for each employee had been given by the employees’ supervisors.
An attorney for Muza, Trenton-based lawyer Robin Lord, did not return a phone call Monday afternoon. Calls to a phone number listed for Muza went unreturned on Monday.
Peter Aseltine, a spokesperson for the Attorney General’s Office, declined to specify the exact amount that had been embezzled, explaining that the investigation is still ongoing. However, he explained that the current ballpark figure of more than $100,000 was only representative of the period between 2010 and the present.
“It is our belief that the theft began before 2010, but we’re still investigating the total amount,” Aseltine said.
Muza allegedly wrote checks to himself and directly deposited Triangle money into his bank account, including one single check of $30,000 that he used to pay off his credit card debt, according to the Attorney General’s release.
The process that led to Muza’s arrest took about two months, Triangle Club Board of the Graduate Trustees Chairman Marc Segan ’77 said.
“It was over a period of time. You know, these things don’t happen all of a sudden,” Segan said.
Current Triangle Club president Alex Kasdin ’14 declined to comment.
In the 2010 fiscal year, Triangle Club reported a total income of $455,728 mostly from investments held in the club’s endowment, according to the club’s most recent tax-exempt IRS returns.
As an accountant for Triangle, Muza made $4,000 a year, the Attorney General’s release said. “He was living beyond his means,” Aseltine said of Muza.
Segan said Triangle Club will “be fine” despite the significant financial losses. “This is a sad, sad thing and shocking and all of that. Very unfortunate,” he said.
The Attorney General’s release added that the office would work to recover the funds for Triangle.