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College Of New Rochelle Handing Financial Investigation To U.S. Attorney

The College of New Rochelle is in danger of being shut down after a financial probe revealed nearly $20 million in unpaid taxes.
The College of New Rochelle is in danger of being shut down after a financial probe revealed nearly $20 million in unpaid taxes. Photo Credit: CNR

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. - With the College of New Rochelle embroiled amid a $30 million financial crisis, they may have reportedly turned over the investigation to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

In October, the school’s Board of Trustees launched an extensive investigation into financial misappropriations that revealed approximately $20 million in payroll taxes that were unpaid dating back to 2014. In total, more than $30 million in “ significant unmet financial obligations ” have been revealed during the investigation.

According to the report , the Board has turned over the investigation to U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s office, though a spokesperson could not officially confirm or deny an investigation was ongoing. The College of New Rochelle (CNR) will need to shed millions of dollars from their budget in order to remain as a standalone institution.

CNR’s investigation has led to the resignation of former President Judith Huntington and prompted them to begin selling off non-essential assets to raise money for their #WeAreCNR fundraising campaign, which recently got a boost in the form of a $5 million anonymous donation .

“The financial information that was provided to the Board was incorrect, incomplete and lacked transparency,” the trustees said in a joint statement about the investigation. “Additionally, an independent external auditing firm audited CNR’s financial statements for recent years and found no material issues. The Board was permitted to rely on these audits.”

Ron Eager, the Chief Restructuring Officer and Partner at Grassi and Co., which is overseeing the restructuring and stabilization of the college, said that it was important to move quickly to cut costs and raise money to help save CNR’s short and long term future.

“We’re taking this step to help strengthen the academic institution’s financial footing,” he said. “We’ve retained Madison Hawk to create and manage an auction sale process as a way to generate capital. These are non-core assets of the college and we’d rather sell the properties to a user or developer than keep them on our balance sheet at this time.”

“We were motivated throughout this effort with the unshakeable belief that the College of New Rochelle was worth fighting for,” Board of Trustees President Gwen Adolph added. “Our work is not done, but this $5 million donation and additional financial support we have received allows us to continue this fight and to continue to provide a profound education to future generations of students.”

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