Thomas Muza, former Princeton Triangle Club accountant, pleaded not guilty to embezzling more than $180,000 from the club on Monday.
Muza is being represented by Robin K. Lord, who entered the plea for him during his arraignment in a Mercer County courtroom in Trenton.
A state grand jury indictment in June handed up a single charge of second-degree theft by unlawful taking. Muza could face a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a criminal fine of up to $150,000 if convicted. The New Jersery Attorney General’s Office announced a plea offer Monday calling for a shorter prison term of three years, the Princeton Packet reported.
Muza served as signatory on the club’s bank account, and allegedly stole nearly $90,00 simply by writing Triangle Club checks directly to himself. Prosecutors allege that Muza used the money to pay off debt and living expenses, including mortgage payments and utility bills. He also allegedly used Triangle Club checks to directly pay off three personal credit cards as well as another “unauthorized third party,” according to an earlier press release from Nersey’s Office of the Attorney General.
Muza received an annual salary of $4,000 as the club’s accountant. He also previously served as manager of McCarter Theatre, but was terminated from that position in November of last year, shortly after he was charged. Both Triangle and McCarter are nonprofit organizations.