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Press Release

Former Baruch College Basketball Coach And Athletics Official Pleads Guilty To Embezzling Over $700,000

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today the guilty plea of MACHLI JOSEPH in connection with his embezzlement of over $700,000 in funds intended for Baruch College for the rental of their athletic facilities.  JOSEPH pled guilty before U.S. District Judge Paul A. Crotty to conversion and misapplication of money from a program receiving federal funds.    


Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “As he admitted today, Machli Joseph, Baruch College’s former basketball coach, stole hundreds of thousands of dollars meant for Baruch that he instead spent largely on himself.  This Office is committed to ensuring that our city’s schools are not taken advantage of by the very individuals meant to support them.”


According to the Information and Complaint filed in this case, and statements made during the plea proceeding:     


MACHLI JOSEPH served as an athletic department official at Baruch College between 2002 and 2016.  He served as Baruch’s women’s basketball head coach between 2004 and 2014, its men’s basketball coach in 2002, as assistant athletic director from 2003 to 2011, and as associate athletic director from 2011 until August 2016.  At times when the Baruch College gym was not being used by the school’s athletic teams, it could be rented out to outside parties.  In his administrative capacity, JOSEPH had control over those gym rentals and their scheduling.


On numerous occasions between 2010 and 2016, JOSEPH rented the gym to outside parties, ostensibly on behalf of Baruch College.  In instructing the renting parties on how to provide payment, however, JOSEPH directed that payment be made to entities that were not, in fact, connected to Baruch College.  Instead, they were entities with bank accounts over which JOSEPH had personal control, some of which merely sounded like Baruch-affiliated entities.  On several occasions, JOSEPH simply directed that payment be made directly to him or individual associates of his.  Many of these funds were ultimately spent on personal expenses and items for JOSEPH and his family, including renovations to his home in New Jersey.  All told, the scheme improperly diverted over $700,000 of payments intended for Baruch College.


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JOSEPH, 43, of Elizabeth, New Jersey, pled guilty to one count of embezzlement and misapplication concerning a program receiving federal funds.  The charge carries a maximum term of 10 years in prison.  JOSEPH is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Crotty on April 17, 2018.  The maximum potential penalty is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.


Mr. Berman praised the investigative work of the Department of Education – Office of the Inspector General and the New York State Inspector General’s Office.  


This case is being handled by the Office’s Public Corruption Unit.  Assistant United States Attorneys Catherine E. Geddes and Martin S. Bell are in charge of the prosecution.

Updated January 17, 2018

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 18-018