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Press Release

Former Philadelphia City Treasurer Charged in Superseding Indictment with Tax Fraud and Failure to File Tax Returns

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
Dunbar was previously charged with crimes including embezzlement, marriage fraud, and naturalization fraud in September 2020

PHILADELPHIA – Acting United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that Christian Dunbar, 41, of Philadelphia, PA, the former Philadelphia City Treasurer, was charged by Superseding Indictment with two counts of filing a false income tax return and three counts of failure to file tax returns. Dunbar was previously charged with 14 counts of embezzlement by a bank employee, procurement of naturalization through a false statement, procurement of naturalization unlawfully, obtaining false citizenship papers, and making false statements in support of naturalization.

According to the Superseding Indictment, Dunbar allegedly participated in three schemes – (1) bank embezzlement; (2) false statements submitted in his application to become a U.S. citizen; and (3) failing to file his tax returns and falsely filing returns.

The Superseding Indictment includes allegations from the original Indictment that, just weeks before his appointment to serve as the City’s Deputy Treasurer, Dunbar, while still employed at Wells Fargo Bank in Newtown Square, stole $15,000 from two different bank customers on two separate occasions, once in December 2015 and again in January 2016.

Dunbar also allegedly made false representations in his application for naturalization.  Dunbar allegedly falsified with whom he was cohabitating, to whom he was married,

where he was residing, and where his child was residing. He is also charged with having submitted a false lease and a false W-2 tax form to immigration officials. And, he is charged with failing to disclose a previous crime that he committed, namely bank embezzlement.

The Superseding Indictment newly alleges that Dunbar did not file his personal income tax returns for tax years 2015, 2016, and 2019 (during the last of which he was serving as the Philadelphia City Treasurer). Also, Dunbar is charged with filing false tax returns for the years 2017 and 2018 by claiming business losses resulting in tax refunds to which he was not entitled.           

If convicted, Dunbar faces a maximum possible sentence of 174 years’ imprisonment and a fine of $6.025 million.

“As first detailed in the initial Indictment announced last September, and further alleged in the Superseding Indictment announced today, Christian Dunbar’s conduct in this case demonstrates a shocking level of misconduct – three separate fraud schemes – for a person who held such a senior, cabinet-level position with City of Philadelphia,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Williams. “Our Office will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to investigate these types of complicated public corruption cases, and hold public officials accountable.”

“For whatever reason, some people feel like the laws we all must abide by simply don’t apply to them,” said Michael J. Driscoll, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “Christian Dunbar allegedly perpetrated quite an array of fraud schemes. I guess he thought he’d get away with all of it. Today’s superseding indictment suggests otherwise. The FBI and our partners won’t stand for fraudsters flouting federal law, particularly those who’ve wound up in positions of public trust.”

“Today’s action demonstrates our collective efforts to enforce the law and ensure public trust,” said Thomas Fattorusso, Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation. “Public officials hold positions of trust in the public eye. That trust is eroded when public officials commit crimes. IRS-CI will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to seek justice on behalf of the citizens of Philadelphia.”

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Josh Davison and Denise S. Wolf.

An indictment, information, or criminal complaint is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


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Updated May 26, 2021

Public Corruption