Former Philadelphia Water Department Employee Sentenced to Over One Year in Prison for Theft
PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero announced that Thomas Staszak, 47, of Philadelphia, PA, a former employee of the Philadelphia Water Department (“PWD”), was sentenced to fourteen months in prison, two years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay $153,367 restitution by United States District Judge Joel H. Slomsky for stealing inventory from a City of Philadelphia storage facility.
In January 2022, the defendant pleaded guilty to multiple counts of theft from a federally funded program and computer fraud. 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 created false entries in PWD’s electronic records to provide justifications for removing maintenance materials, for example bulk wire, from the storeroom. The defendant then 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 stole items valued at approximately in excess of $150,000 before he was caught. As a City of Philadelphia agency, PWD receives millions of dollars in federal funds and assistance annually.
“Mr. Staszak used his position as a supervisor with a public sector agency to enrich himself to the detriment of all Philadelphians who expect and deserve honest services from their government,” said U.S. Attorney Romero. “The Philadelphia Water Department is entrusted with a task which is vital to the health of our city and region; the defendant’s actions took money and resources for that mission directly out of the hands of taxpayers and moved the proceeds into his own bank account.”
“Thomas Staszak apparently felt his city salary wasn’t enough,” said Jacqueline Maguire, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “But stealing and selling your employer’s property certainly isn’t the way to enhance your paycheck. In doing so, Staszak cheated the Philadelphia Water Department, the taxpayers who help fund it, and all the honest municipal employees who do the right thing, in the right way, every day. He’ll now pay for his crimes through restitution and prison time.”
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.