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St. John's Dean Accused of Stealing $1 Million Dead in Apparent Suicide

By Murray Weiss | November 6, 2012 2:11pm

QUEENS — Cecilia Chang, the St. John's University dean on trial in federal court on embezzlement charges, apparently committed suicide at her Queens apartment Tuesday, the day after a reported meltdown on the witness stand, sources said.

Chang admitted Monday that she used  St. John's students as servants and that she lied to the FBI, but testified that any money she took was for unreimbursed expenses, the Daily News reported.

On Tuesday, Chang made two failed atempts to kill herself — turning on the gas in the stove and then slitting her wrists — before hanging herself, sources told DNAinfo.com New York.

Police were notified by her son, who grew worried after his repeated calls to Chang went unanswered, sources said. 

He called 911 and responding cops discovered Chang's body inside the apartment, according to sources.

Chang was intially charged in Queens Supreme Court in in September 2010, but the case was eventually transferred to Brooklyn Federal Court.

A former SJU scholarship student testified she cooked and cleaned for Chang and even hand-washed the dean's underwear for fear of losing her scholarship, which included a 20-hour-a-week service obligation, according to the Daily News.

On Monday, Chang, against the advice of her lawyer, took the stand and argued with the judge, the prosecutor and even her own lawyer before making damning admissions, according to a report the Daily News.

The paper also reported that Chang was the prime suspect in the 1990 execution-style murder of her husband, who wrote "my wife did this" while he was in intensive care after being shot three times in the back.