I don’t think any of us like paying the gas prices these days, but what’s the alternative? Apparently, if you are 60-year old Toni Pulcini you figure out a way to get taxpayers to pay for your gas. Philadelphia’s news networks are reporting that Pulcini, the former supervisor of T/E School District’s transportation used the District issued gas credit card as her own. Over the course of a year, between November 2011 and November 2012, Pulcini ran up gas receipts in excess of $8,000 using the District’s gas credit card for her own vehicles.
In today’s Main Line Suburban article, Rich Llgenfritz explains that T/E School District reported unusual activity on the credit card and reported the matter to Tredyffrin Township police in December. The investigation by the police indicates email exchanges between Pulcini and the District’s business manager Art McDonnell where she apologizes and offers financial difficulties as an explanation for her actions. Pulcini claims that someone she met online who took out a loan in her name scammed her.
In one of her email exchanges, Pulcini writes, “I have loans for $30,000 and then I had to pay for rent, food and all that. I needed to get to work so I was desperate, scared and just trying to survive. Sometimes I didn’t even have money for food.” However, it is interesting to note that Pulcini not only used the gas card to go back and forth to her TESD job from her home in Easton, MD but the gas receipts indicate that she also traveled to the Jersey Shore for vacation. I am finding it difficult to be sympathetic to Pulcini’s financial woes, when I read that she had money for a family vacation; at the taxpayer’s expense.
Pulcini was arrested this week and charged with 151 counts of ‘access device fraud’ and three counts each of theft by deception, receiving stolen property and theft of property. A preliminary hearing is set for March 6. Good investigative work by the Tredyffrin Township Police Department.
In Pennsylvania, access device fraud is defined as follows:
Access Device Fraud Title 18 C.S. 4106
Under the law, a person commits access device fraud if he or she uses a credit card, debit card, automated teller machine card, plate, account number, personal identification number or other means of account access to obtain or attempt to obtain property or services; of if they publish, make, sell, give or transfer to another the means of account access knowing it is counterfeit, altered, incomplete, or belongs to another person.
Sounds to me like Pulcini just added major criminal problems to her financial situation. For the record, Pulcini retired November 30, 2012 from the T/E School District. Here’s a question, I wonder if this arrest will affect her retirement benefits (healthcare and pension).