Every Friday, we choose an alum who has been making headlines—for better or for worse.
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John Mazzuto ’70

Last year, Yale saluted the “incredible generosity” of a $1.5 million gift from John Mazzuto ’70. This week, a New York prosecutor said the donation stemmed from Mazzuto’s “wholesale looting” of his former company, charging the former Bulldogs shortstop with grand larceny and other felonies.

Mazzuto was arrested at his $2.5 million Florida home, which he also bought with some of the $60 million that he and another man under indictment allegedly stole from Industrial Enterprises of America. Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. ’77 contends that Mazzuto, who was the company’s CEO, and his co-defendant issued tens of millions of dollars of a type of stock that is legally reserved for employees, then gave it to family, friends, their alma maters, and themselves. Vance’s press release also says that Mazzuto declared personal bankruptcy in 2002 and didn’t emerge until 2009—several years after his donation to Yale. [PDF] The company, now in bankruptcy itself, has threatened to sue to get its money back.

Yale spokesman Tom Conroy says the university cooperated fully with the criminal investigation “and is holding the donation aside.” He declined to explain what that means. (Yale has already built a baseball practice facility bearing Mazzuto’s name. The gift also endowed the head coach’s position.) It’s probably safe to guess that Yale won’t invite Mazzuto to throw out the first pitch again anytime soon.

Filed under fundraising, lawsuit, baseball
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