PHILADELPHIA — U.S. Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that Christopher Gehris, 47, of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, was today sentenced to one year and two months in prison and three years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay more $94,000 in damages from the United States District. Court Judge Mitchell S. Goldberg for misappropriating this amount from the Phoenixville Area School District (PASD).
In February 2022, the defendant pleaded guilty to embezzling funds from a program receiving federal funding and admitted to stealing approximately $94,613 from PASD. In 2006, the defendant was hired as a comptroller for the business office of the PASD, then promoted to the position of business manager. In 2018, he was appointed Chief Financial Officer. From 2013 to 2019, Gehris cashed checks made out to her name and to “cash”, received checks and direct deposits into her personal checking account for “start-up money” for student activities, stole money from school programs and obtained gift cards for personal expenses – all as part of his embezzlement scheme. He also admitted to hiding his thefts by altering receipts and falsifying reports submitted to the schools’ governing board.
“Defendant stole nearly $100,000 from a public school district, money, a portion of which was specifically allocated for student activities intended to enhance their educational experience,” U.S. Attorney Williams said. “The criminals who embezzle public money from schools are ripping off hundreds of students while ripping off all the taxpayers who fund them.”
The case has been investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Phoenixville Police Department and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Terri A. Marinari.