PAULA T. DOW, Essex County Prosecutor

For Immediate Release
Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Former Seton Hall University Director Pleads Guilty for Embezzlement

First Assistant Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn Murray today announced that a former director of Seton Hall

University’s WSOU 89.5 FM Pirate Radio, has pleaded guilty for embezzling more than $550,000.00 from Seton

Hall University from 1991 to the termination of his employment in 2004.

According to First Assistant Prosecutor Murray, Michael Collazo, 58, of Hampton, pleaded guilty this afternoon

before the Honorable Harold Fullilove to second degree theft. Collazo will be sentenced on August 18 before

Judge Fullilove. The State is recommending a five-year State Prison sentence.

“Mr. Collazo abused his power as director, and let his greed get the best of him” said First Assistant Prosecutor

Murray. “His deplorable conduct cost him his reputable job and a significant amount of time behind bars.”

According to lead Assistant Prosecutor Gail Gallagher, Collazo’s scheme involved embezzling more than

$236,000.00 of underwriting money and also included the unauthorized leasing of WSOU’s two radio

subfrequencies. Collazo deposited this stolen money into two of his business accounts and used it to pay for

personal expenses.

Assistant Prosecutor Gallagher said that beginning in 1991 Collazo entered into a lease agreement with Radio

Verite, a radio station that broadcasts to the Haitian community. This agreement allowed Radio Verite to utilize one

of WSOU’s two sub frequencies. In 1999, Collazo leased the second sub frequency to EIES of NJ, an organization

that provides radio broadcasts for the blind. These lease payments generated from the two agreements totaled nearly

$350,000.00. Seton Hall never received any of the lease income.

First Assistant Prosecutor Murray commended the lead Investigator Cheryl Contreras and lead Assistant

Prosecutor Gail Gallagher of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Official Corruption and Economic Crime Section for

their hard work and diligent efforts. Murray also praised the efforts the Official Corruption and Economic Crime

Section Lieutenant Syed Hussain, Investigators Nicole Berrian and Bruce Davis for assisting in the arrest of

CONTACT: PAUL M. LORIQUET, Press Secretary (973) 621-4021

Essex County Prosecutor's Office (973) 621-4700

Essex County Courts Building

Newark, New Jersey 07102