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Press Release

Defendants Plead Guilty To Defrauding Local University

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Pennsylvania

PHILADELPHIA - Kenneth Kapikian, 57, of Wayne, Pennsylvania, and Dennis Gagliardi, 60, of Chester Springs, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty today to conspiring to defraud the University of Pennsylvania.  Kapikian pleaded guilty to six counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering; Gagliardi pleaded guilty to four counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.  Sentencing hearings are scheduled for September 14, 2015 for both defendants.


The defendants, engaged in a scheme to fraudulently obtain monies from the University of Pennsylvania by falsely billing the University for services the defendants never provided to the Sheraton University City Hotel.  They directed vendors of the Sheraton University City Hotel to inflate their invoices submitted to the hotel and then pay them the fraudulently inflated amounts as kickbacks.


Kapikian faces a maximum possible sentence of 140 years in prison; Gagliardi faces a maximum statutory sentence of 100 years in prison; special assessments, supervised release, and possible fines.


The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Melanie Babb Wilmoth.

Updated February 4, 2016