Former West Catholic High School football coach Brian Fluck was charged Friday with theft and related offenses in a scheme that resulted in the theft of more than $65,000 from the Philadelphia City All-Star Football Game, the state Attorney General’s Office announced.
Fluck, 49, one of the most accomplished football coaches in Philadelphia Catholic League history, turned himself in to Philadelphia police, according to a news release. Fluck’s attorney did not respond to a request for comment.
The charges came after a four-month investigation by the Attorney General’s Office public corruption section with assistance from the Philadelphia School District’s Inspector General’s Office.
In February, The Inquirer reported that Fluck had stepped down as president of the All-Star Game’s executive committee amid an internal investigation into missing funds.
According to its website, the All-Star Game began supporting student-athletes in 1975, and has given grants of “more than $400,000 to over 600 Philadelphia students.”
After its initial reporting, The Inquirer was contacted by several former athletes and their family members about scholarship money that was never received. The missing scholarships, according to the families, ranged from $300 to at least $3,000.
According to the news release, Fluck, acting as president and treasurer of the All-Star Game from 2005 to 2018, wrote checks to himself from the All-Star Game account and deposited them into his personal account. In all, he wrote 36 checks to himself between September 2007 and September 2018, totaling $63,800, officials said. He also deposited more than $2,000 in cash that he had collected from games into his personal account, the statement said.
Fluck was charged with dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities, theft by unlawful taking, theft by receiving stolen property, and theft by failure to make required disposition of funds received.
“The defendant was entrusted to oversee a football game, but he stands charged with abusing this authority to steal from kids and enrich himself,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro said in a statement. “Families and spectators gave their hard-earned money to the game and expected the funds to be handled responsibly, not diverted into the pockets of the person who was supposed to be managing the funds. My office will continue to investigate and prosecute instances of public corruption wherever we find them.”
In an email, Fortunato Perri Jr., the attorney for the other members of the All-Star Game’s executive committee, said, “The board has moved beyond past issues and will continue to provide young athletes the opportunity to showcase their talent in the City All-Star Game.”
Despite the All-Star Game’s uncertain future because of the scandal, members of the high school football community and their supporters ensured that a game was played in May.
West Catholic at first put Fluck on paid administrative leave. In March, the school decided not to retain him as football coach.
During his tenure at West Catholic (from 1999 to 2018), Fluck won 169 games and 16 championships, and coached more than 50 all-city players, including three who later played in the NFL. He won nine Catholic League football championships, six city championships, and a state championship in 2010.