PAULA T. DOW, Essex County Prosecutor

For Immediate Release
Friday, September 15, 2006

Ex-Seton Hall Professor Sentenced To Prison for Theft

Essex County Prosecutor Paula T. Dow announced today that a former Seton Hall professor was sentenced to five

years in prison for stealing more than $200,000 from the university’s nonprofit FM radio station while serving as

the station’s director.

Michael Collazo, 58, of Hampton Borough, who oversaw WSOU 89.5 Radio for nearly 20 years, was sentenced by

Superior Court Judge Harold Fullilove to State Prison. Collazo had pleaded guilty on July 12 to the theft charge.

As part of his guilty plea, the Prosecutor’s Office dismissed the money laundering charge, as well as two other

counts of theft by deception.

Beginning in 1991, Collazo used a pair of fictitious companies to redirect funds intended for the radio station.

Collazo requested advertisers to make checks payable to WSOU and then he deposited them in an account for

Warren Sound Options Unlimited, a bogus company specifically named to use the same initials of the station.

Collazo was additionally charged with leasing out two of WSOU’s subfrequencies to community stations and

diverting the lease payments to Carrier Plus Communications, another fake company arranged by the defendant.

The theft went undetected by the university until 2004, when a student business manager turned in a list of

sponsors which did not match the advertisers submitted by Collazo.

Seton Hall ordered an audit, fired Collazo and turned over their findings to the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office.

In total, Collazo stole more than $550,000 from Seton Hall, though his plea agreement only required him to admit to

stealing about $200,000 in adverting money.

Prosecutor Dow credited lead Investigator Cheryl Contreras, lead Assistant Prosecutor Gail Gallagher, Lieutenant

Syed Hussain, Investigators Nicole Berrian and Bruce Davis, all of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Official

Corruption and Economic Crime Section, with the investigation. In addition, Dow commended Seton Hall

University for their cooperation with the investigation.
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