Press Releases


Wednesday March 14, 2012

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that ROBERT FRIEDLAND, a former instructor with the Prep for Success program administered by the City University of New York Research Foundation (“CUNYRF”), was sentenced today in Manhattan federal court to 30 months in prison.  He was found guilty of three counts of fraud after a three-day trial in June 2011.  FRIEDLAND forged a federal judge’s signature on documents he submitted to CUNYRF and also presented the foundation with more than $3 million in false grant award notifications that purported to be from the U.S. Department of Education.  He was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Leonard B. Sand.

According to the trial evidence and other documents filed in the case:

 In 2008, FRIEDLAND applied for a position as an instructor with the CUNYRF’s Prep for Success program, which prepares low income high school students for success in college.  After a background check conducted by the CUNYRF revealed that FRIEDLAND had previously been convicted of a crime, he presented the foundation with a fraudulent court order that falsely claimed he had been the victim of identity theft and that the convictions revealed in his background check were not attributable to him.  The purported court order contained the forged electronic signature of a U.S. District Court Judge in New Jersey.  Based in part on the representations in the fraudulent order, FRIEDLAND was hired as an instructor by the CUNYRF. 

In October 2009, FRIEDLAND presented the CUNYRF with documents purporting to be notifications awarding over $3 million of U.S. Department of Education grants authorized under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.   He said these grants had been awarded to him and that he wished to transfer them to the CUNYRF.  When the CUNYRF attempted to collect a portion of the grants reflected in the award notices provided by FRIEDLAND, the Department of Education discovered that the grant award notices were fraudulent and that the grants reflected in them did not exist.  

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 FRIEDLAND, 64, resided in Elizabeth, New Jersey prior to his arrest in this case.

 The charges against FRIEDLAND were investigated by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of the Inspector General.

 This case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Blais in charge of the prosecution.





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