Court employee jailed after $433K theft to treat friends, family

William Rullo was undoubtedly his family's favorite relative and his friends' best buddy.

The Levittown, Bucks County, man spent more than $65,000 on 36 flat-screen televisions to give his family and friends. He also gave them free cell phones and discounted SEPTA tokens and monthly parking passes.

Problem is, he paid for it all with $433,000 he stole from the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania, where he worked as a procurement technician from 1999 to 2010, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Rullo, 47, was sentenced today to 33 months in prison for the scheme, after he pleaded guilty to mail fraud. U.S. District Court Judge Stewart Dalzell ordered Rullo to pay $433,000 in restitution and a $100 special assessment and further ordered three years of supervised release.

Rullo's job required him to place orders with vendors, buy electronic and other goods for courtrooms, use a government credit card for purchases and get approval from a judge or supervisor before submitting invoices. But between January 2005 and March 2010, Rullo used the credit card to spend $321,000 on things for himself, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. He bought SEPTA tokens and monthly parking passes with District money, reselling them to family, friends and coworkers at deep discounts. He also forged signatures of judges and the Director of Administrative Services on invoices, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. 

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, the First Judicial District and the Philadelphia Police Department. William Inden, a Philadelphia assistant district attorney and special assistant U.S. Attorney, prosecuted it.