PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced today that David T. Shulick, 48, of Gladwyne, was sentenced today to a term 60 months’ imprisonment for embezzling funds from the School District of Philadelphia and for his part in a scheme to defraud PNC Bank and for filing false tax returns. Shulick was convicted in May 2018 after a jury trial.
At the sentencing hearing, Hon. Harvey Bartle III, found that Shulick embezzled a total of $759,735 from the School District of Philadelphia, and in the process, abused the trust placed in him by the School District.
Between 2010 and 2012, Shulick, and co-conspirator Chaka Fattah, Jr., embezzled funds from the School District of Philadelphia, in part by misrepresenting the educational services that would be provided to students pursuant to a contract between the School District and Shulick’s company, Unique Educational Experiences, Inc. (“UEE”). Shulick secured funding from the School District by promising to provide at-risk students with a level of guidance counseling appropriate for their needs, psychological support services, and school security. Shulick and Fattah Jr. hid the true costs of services provided by UEE by submitting false budgets to the School District of Philadelphia. The budgets contained false entries for benefit costs, inflated staff salaries, and salaries for staff positions that were never filled at the school operated by UEE. As a result of this scheme, defendant Shulick fraudulently obtained funds from the School District of Philadelphia that were supposed to be used to educate students.
“The Court imposed a stiff sentence for good reason in this case,” said U.S. Attorney McSwain. “Shulick promised to provide at-risk school students with counseling, security, and support services. He also promised to pay teachers a decent wage. He broke all of those promises and lined his pockets with funds that he had no business taking, all the while spending hundreds of thousands of dollars renovating his Gladwyne home and his vacation home in New Jersey. Shulick’s actions were an appalling abuse of trust, which the sentence makes clear.”
Shulick and Fattah Jr. also devised a scheme to defraud PNC Bank. Fattah Jr. had defaulted on a loan made by PNC. As part of the scheme, Shulick acted as Fattah Jr.’s lawyer and threatened PNC Bank with the possibility that Fattah Jr. might file bankruptcy if he were unable to resolve his outstanding debts, which would result in the bank receiving little or no repayment on the loan. Defendant Shulick sent a letter to PNC Bank, offering to settle PNC Bank’s claim for $2,500. The letter included a form which represented that Fattah Jr.’s monthly income was $2,500. Shulick’s companies were paying Fattah, Jr. a salary of $75,000 per year, and Shulick and Fattah Jr. had entered into an agreement to increase Fattah Jr.’s compensation.
Shulick also filed false federal income tax returns for tax years 2009, 2010, and 2011, failed to report all of his taxable income in these years, and improperly claimed itemized deductions. Shulick claimed money he had spent renovating his residence and New Jersey shore home as business expenses of his company.
“Not only did Shulick steal from a school district that can use every dollar it gets, he did so under the pretense of helping some of its most vulnerable students,” said Michael T. Harpster, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Philadelphia Division. “Instead, he turned around and used that money to support his own life of luxury. David Shulick acted contemptibly and criminally. The FBI is gratified to see this fraudster brought to justice, and will continue to pursue anyone embezzling money from the United States government.”
“Not only did David Shulick use deceit and fraud to line his pockets with funds that were supposed to be used to educate students, he also skirted his tax obligations,” said IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Guy Ficco. “Mr. Shulick’s sentence should serve as a reminder that no one is above the law, especially when the integrity of tax administration is at stake.”
The case was investigated by the FBI, IRS Criminal Investigation, and the U.S. Department of Education, with the cooperation of the Philadelphia School District’s Office of Inspector General. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Michael T. Donovan and Christopher Mannion.