Former St. John’s Dean Cecilia Chang Chose Court Over a Cushy Plea

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The former St. John's University dean who committed suicide this week after her own disastrous courtroom testimony had been offered a plea deal that would get her two to six years in a minimum-security federal prison camp, the New York Daily News reports. But she rejected it and went to court, where she faced a maximum sentence of 45 years for charges of embezzlement and forced labor if convicted. "She had tremendous pride and she didn’t care about spending money for her defense," a source close to the case told the paper. Defense lawyer John Ianuzzi said he was "completely shocked" by her death, but added, “I know how completely humiliated she was and even the idea of going to court was a disgrace for her and difficult to bear."