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Florida Man Embezzles $12.8M, Spends Most of It at Adult Website

He and his stepson's fiancee were allegedly in on scheme together
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 16, 2021 3:35 AM CDT
Updated Aug 21, 2021 5:00 PM CDT
Florida Man Embezzles $12.8M, Spends Most of It at Adult Website
Stock photo.   (Getty Images / BrianAJackson)

(Newser) – A Florida man pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $12.8 million from the nonprofit where he worked—and spending most of it at an adult website. Ralph Puglisi signed the plea agreement in June and it was filed last week, the Tampa Bay Times reports. The 59-year-old was the accounting manager for University Medical Service Association (UMSA), a nonprofit providing staffing and support to the University of South Florida's healthcare enterprise, until suspicious activity was noted in November and he was fired.

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Puglisi was found to have made at least $12.86 million in non-business charges on UMSA credit cards, with at least $11.5 million of that going to the adult site over a period of two years. Specifically, it was spent on interactions with a woman on the site believed to be Puglisi's stepson's fiancee; the two apparently split $743,968 in profits, 60% to Puglisi and 40% to the woman. Puglisi also spent $43,662 at Disney World and sent $22,486 to another woman on the site so she and her friends could fly to Orlando, and hundreds of thousands more on personal travel, rent, a chartered yacht, wedding costs, and all sorts of other personal expenditures. Puglisi has agreed to pay restitution, and he faces up to 20 years behind bars, WFLA reports. (Read more Florida stories.)

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