Southeastern PA

Feds indict former head of company that ran troubled school in Reading

David Shulick accused of ripping off Philadelphia School District

PHILADELPHIA - The former head of a firm that once operated an alternative school for troubled students in Berks County has been indicted on federal embezzlement and tax charges.

David Shulick has been charged with ripping off the cash-strapped Philadelphia School District and using the money to pay nannies, housekeepers and contractors for improvements at his home in Gladwyne, Montgomery County, as well as at his vacation condo.

Shulick, the ex-president of the now-defunct Delaware Valley High School Management Corporation, is accused of skimming funds from a $2.1 million contract his former company had with the Philadelphia district to run an alternative school.

The indictment alleges Shulick, 46, drafted false budgets for his Bala Cynwyd-based for-profit education firm, which also operated a Delaware Valley High School campus in Reading.

Shulick's lawyer is balking at the allegations and pins the blame on Shulick's associate, Chaka Fattah Jr., who served as the firm's chief operating officer.

Fattah, the son of former U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, is serving a prison term for misspending loans and some of the nearly $1 million in education funds he got as a school management subcontractor.

Shulick's firm -- the Delaware Valley High School Management Corporation -- had a $1.1 million contract with the Reading School District to run a disciplinary school for 125 RSD students in grades six to 12.

That school, located on Margaret Street in Reading, drew the attention of the Pennsylvania Department of Education in 2013 for failing to provide required academic and counseling programs and for not tamping down violence.

The school had garnered publicity for a number of incidents involving student fights and weapons in the building.

Two city police officers were injured in one of the incidents, which was described as a riot among students, several of whom were arrested.

Shulick had accused several former school employees, including its one-time director, of inciting the violence among students.

Shulick's DVHS Management Corporation closed its Reading campus in 2013 after the Reading School District terminated its agreement with the firm. The company declared bankruptcy in 2015, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The indictment, which concerns only Shulick's contract with the Philadelphia School District, also charges him in an alleged scheme to defraud PNC Bank and with filing false tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

If convicted, Shulick faces a substantial prison term and a fine of up to $3.8 million, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

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