Ex-Jersey City Head Start ED gets 18 months for stealing $250k from agency

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The former executive director of the Jersey City Head Start Program has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for stealing over $250,000 from the agency and then purchasing a Maserati with the stolen funds, Acting U.S. Attorney William Fitzpatrick announced.

A Facebook photo of Robert Mays from May 24, 2012.
A Facebook photo of Robert Mays from May 24, 2012.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Robert E. Mays, 40, of Jersey City, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton in June 2016. Wigenton imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court, authorities said.

Mays was the executive director of Jersey City Child Development Centers from September 2013 to May 2014.

He admitted that he stole more than $250,000 from JCCDC by unilaterally increasing his annual salary from $96,500 to $155,000 after being employed by JCCDC for only two months, officials said.

He also admitted that he created false board of director’s minutes to give the impression JCCDC authorized the salary increase.

Additionally, Mays admitted he withdrew funds from a JCCDC bank account to pay for unauthorized personal expenses, including a 2007 Maserati Quattroporte and a fur coat worth thousands of dollars.

In addition to the prison term, Wigenton sentenced Mays to three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay restitution of $257,418.20.

Back in September 2015, Hudson County View exclusively reported that the FBI was investigating whether or not Jersey City Head Start funds had been misappropriated, with Mays’ apartment being searched by the feds on September 11th of that year.

Mays is also a former dean of students at Snyder High School, where he was terminated for excessive absences and tardiness.

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