PHOENIXVILLE PA – The former business manager and finance director of the Phoenixville area school district is accused by the U.S. District Attorney’s Office for the East Philadelphia District of embezzling more than $ 90,000 in school funds, part of which had been paid by the federal government. government.
Christopher Gehris, 46, of Phoenixville, is charged with “one count of embezzlement of a program receiving federal funds,” according to an announcement on Tuesday, November 30, 2021 from US Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams. If found guilty, he faces a possible maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of $ 250,000.
Williams’ statement described a scheme in which Gehris allegedly “embezzled funds from (district) bank accounts, directed unauthorized payments to himself, made false entries and fabricated receipts, all with the aim of embezzling more. $ 90,000 in school funds for student sporting events. , school trips, summer programs and other school events.
For the years during the indicted driving, Williams added, the district received federal funds for school programs.
Gehris served from November 2013 until July 2019, when he resigned after the district was alerted to what have been called “possible discrepancies” in financial records. The case was investigated by the FBI and the Phoenixville Police Department.
“By exploiting the trust that the Phoenixville area school district placed in him, Gehris robbed children and deprived them of meaningful educational experiences,” said Jacqueline Maguire, special agent in charge of the Philadelphia Division of the FBI. The agency “will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to protect government funded programs and investigate those who engage in similar programs based on greed,” she added.
The case is expected to be continued by Assistant United States Attorney Terri A. Marinari and the Chester County District Attorney’s Office. Chester County District Attorney Deb Ryan praised the United States Attorney’s Office for holding Gehris “responsible for stealing the coffers of the Phoenixville school district, students, parents and taxpayers.”
Photo by Anton Matyukha via Deposit Photos, used under license