A former procurement officer for the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania is heading to
federal prison for close to three years for stealing more than $400,000 from Philadelphia’s court system during a 10-year time period.
William Rullo, 47, who was employed for more than two decades for the FJD as a procurement worker, was sentenced Nov. 21 to 33 months behind bars for stealing from his place of employment.
Rullo, who resides in Levittown, Bucks County, had earlier pleaded guilty to mail fraud stemming from a 1999-2010 scheme in which he stole from the courts.
He was charged via criminal information back in late July by the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Unlike an indictment, a criminal information generally signals that a defendant intends to plead guilty.
As a procurement technician, Rullo was tasked with ordering and purchasing supplies and equipment for the FJD, which includes Philadelphia’s Common Pleas Court, Municipal Court and Traffic Court.
Rullo had been in possession of a court-issued credit card, which was in his name.
Rullo was accused of forging the signatures of judges and court administrators on invoices to vendors, causing the Accounts Payable Department to pay for various items, such as electronics, that would ultimately end up benefitting Rullo, the Pennsylvania Record previously reported.
“Defendant William Rullo obtained money, property, and services from the District for his personal benefit through false and fraudulent representations, deception, and forgery,” the federal criminal information had stated.
Rullo initially had faced upward of 20 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine, although U.S. District Judge Stewart Dalzell went easier on the defendant.
According to news reports, the judge, during sentencing, expressed disappointment in Rullo, saying he not only committed a violation of the public trust … “but it was a court that, as you well know, is dedicated to justice,” the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Rullo was allowed to remain free until Jan. 15, at which point he must surrender to the courts to begin serving his prison term.
Rullo will have to repay the Philadelphia courts the money he stole after he is released from federal custody.
In an Oct. 31 letter to the judge, Rullo had pleaded for leniency, writing that he sincerely regretted his actions and apologized to the First Judicial District, from whom he stole.
“The FJD placed me in a position of trust and I betrayed that trust, for that I will forever be regretful,” Rullo wrote in his letter, which was included in the criminal court docket. “In addition to losing a job in which I loved; I severed relationship [sic] with people that I considered true friends.”
Rullo went on to write that since the “ordeal” began, he lost his father, divorced his wife and lost “everything I have ever owned.”