Ex-court worker bought TVs, parking passes on city's dime, prosecutors say

Posted: July 24, 2012

A FORMER court administrator was charged Monday with allegedly stealing about $433,000 from the city over the course of 11 years, buying TVs, parking passes and other big-ticket items with court-issued credit cards and reselling them to friends.

Federal prosecutors said William Rullo, 47, of Levittown, who worked as a procurement technician for the First Judicial District until he was fired in 2010, bought electronics and other valuable goods on the court's dime for personal use, resold merchandise and falsified statements to cover his tracks.

From December 1999 until March 2010, Rullo scammed the city out of $12,000 by paying for accounts on eight AT&T cell phones that he distributed to family and friends, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Between July 2008 and August 2009, Rullo forged signatures of judges and the court's director of administrative services on electronic store invoices totaling $65,000 — for 36 plasma and LCD televisions, none of which were used for District purposes, according to documents from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

But Rullo's scheme didn't stop there, prosecutors allege. They contend that Rullo bought $35,000 in monthly parking permits for a Center City lot, which he then resold to friends and co-workers for $100 per month each.

Similarly, Rullo is accused of purchasing more than $1,300 in SEPTA tokens over time, which he then allegedly resold, pocketing the money.

He also is accused of mail fraud by allegedly having a check for more than $6,000 sent to an electronics store to pay for items used for his own benefit.

A spokesman for the First Judicial District declined to provide additional details on the case, saying, "Mr. Rullo was terminated from the FJD several years ago. We cannot comment further at this time."

If convicted, Rullo faces a maximum of two decades in prison, fines up to $250,000 and possible restitution.

Contact Morgan Zalot at 215-854-5928 or zalotm@phillynews.com. Follow her on Twitter @morganzalot and read her blog, PhillyConfidential.com.

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