A former official with the Phoenixville Area School District has been charged with embezzling more than $90,000 in school funds, U.S. Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams said Tuesday.
Christopher Gehris, 46, of Phoenixville, resigned as director of finance and business manager in 2019 after the district was alerted to possible discrepancies in how its money was being used.
Gehris, who was charged by information, directed unauthorized payments to himself, made false entries, and fabricated receipts to embezzle money earmarked for student sporting events, field trips, summer programs, and other school activities, Williams alleged.
If convicted, Gehris faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Gehris could not be reached for comment.
In August of this year, the Pennsylvania Auditor General’s Office issued a report examining the Phoenixville Area School District’s records from 2015 to 2019 and found the district lacked adequate internal controls that made fraud more likely.
The Auditor General’s Office said the district reportedly had implemented stricter internal controls and oversight procedures and a follow-up audit would review the effectiveness of the reforms.