Phoenixville Schools Former Finance Director Sentenced

PHOENIXVILLE PA – A former finance director of the Phoenixville Area School District has been sentenced to serve 14 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution after he pleaded guilty in February 2022 to embezzling an estimated $94,613 from the district during a six-year period, the United States Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania reported.

Christopher Gehris, 47, of Phoenixville, acknowledged he cashed checks made payable to himself and to “cash,” received checks and direct deposits into his personal checking account for “start-up money” for student activities, stole cash from school programs, and obtained gift cards for personal expenditures, U.S. Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams said Wednesday (May 18).

Gehris also admitted he hid his thefts, which occurred between 2013 and 2019, by altering receipts and falsifying reports submitted to the district Board of School Directors, Williams added. Some of the money was specifically allocated for student activities meant to enhance their educational experience, she noted.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Phoenixville Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Terri A. Marinari.

Gehris was hired in 2006 as a controller for the district Business Office, and later promoted to business manager. In 2018, he was named to serve as the director of finance.

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