WESTBURY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The man in charge of recruiting, enrolling students, and handling student accounts at a Westbury, Long Island broadcasting school has been accused of stealing funds.
As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, students and colleagues at the Connecticut School of Broadcasting’s Long Island center appeared disgusted.
A trusted recruiter and financial officer who worked at the private training center was secretly embezzling money, police said.
Peter Burke, 53, has been accused of stealing student funds totaling more than $220,000.
He lived just blocks from the water in upscale Cold Spring Harbor with his wife and three children.
Police said Burke — Director of Finance for the New York satellite office — cooked the books, accepting cash tuition and pocketing it. The school began questioning some students about their overdue bills.
“Subsequently looked at all delinquent payments, contacted thirty-seven students — said they paid cash to Mr. Burke,” Det. Lt. Howard Sullivan, Nassau County Police said.
He said eventually the students came forward with proof they had given cash payments to Burke — sums of $300 to $14,000.
He was fired from Connecticut School of Broadcasting, and turned himself in on Thursday.
“We have entered a not-guilty plea and Mr. Burke will continue to fight the charges,” defense attorney Brian Griffin said.
Neighbors of Burke said he is a soccer coach, father of three, and active in the community.
“Just a shock, very surprised,” Peter Lioio said.
Later on Thursday, Dick Robinson Media announced that no students will incur any financial expense or liability.
Those students and former students said they hope the alleged embezzlement will not affect the school’s solvency.
Investigators said they have no idea what Burke did with the money he is alleged to have stolen.