Former Philadelphia Water Department Employee Indicted for Theft
PHILADELPHIA – Acting United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that Thomas Staszak, 46, of Philadelphia, PA, a former employee of the City of Philadelphia Water Department (“PWD”), was Indicted by a federal grand jury on multiple charges of theft from a federally funded program and computer fraud.
The Indictment charges that, on multiple occasions from approximately April 2017 through at least November 2018, the defendant accessed PWD’s computerized inventory control system without authorization, using log-in credentials associated with PWD employees under his supervision at a PWD storeroom. Staszak is then charged with creating false entries in PWD’s electronic records to provide justifications for removing maintenance materials, for example bulk wire, from the storeroom. The Indictment further alleges that the defendant physically took the materials from PWD’s inventory, transported them to local scrap yards, sold the materials, and kept the proceeds. In this fashion, Staszak is alleged to have stolen items valued in excess of approximately $164,000 before he was caught. And according to the Indictment, PWD receives federal funds and assistance in excess of $10,000 annually.
“As alleged, Thomas Staszak used his public position to enrich himself to the detriment of all Philadelphians who expect and deserve honest services from City employees,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Williams. “The Philadelphia Water Department is charged with providing clean, safe water for millions of residents and businesses, and protecting the region’s water resources, all on a limited budget. The defendant’s alleged actions took money and resources directly out of the hands of taxpayers and into his own pocket.”
If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum possible sentence of 65 years imprisonment and $2,750,000 in fines.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Inspector General, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Eric L. Gibson.
An indictment, information, or criminal complaint is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.