Former City Employee Pleads Guilty to Million Dollar Ink Cartridge Scam

Philadelphia, August 9, 2013 Calvin Duncan, 61, a former Philadelphia Water Department employee, pleaded guilty today to a scheme to defraud the City of Philadelphia of more than $1 million, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger, FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Edward Hanko, and City of Philadelphia Inspector General Amy Kurland.


Duncan, of Philadelphia, worked as a mailroom clerk and was responsible for purchasing supplies, including printer ink and toner cartridges, for PWD’s administrative offices.  Between January 1, 2006 and January 5, 2012, Duncan ordered printer ink and toner cartridges, for which the City of Philadelphia paid approximately $1,368,091.19, falsely claiming that the cartridges were for PWD employees’ use.  Instead, Duncan sold the cartridges for approximately $545,412.79 and had them shipped to his co-conspirators using PWD’s UPS shipping account. Duncan pleaded guilty to five counts of mail fraud.  His co-conspirators, Derek and Danita Willis, who own Laser Cartridge Plus, Inc. in Russellville, Arkansas, are awaiting trial.


The case against Duncan was initiated by the Philadelphia Office of the Inspector General in September 2011 after investigators received a tip from a city employee.  The OIG then teamed up with the FBI to conduct a joint investigation. “Collaboration is the key to fighting public corruption in Philadelphia. Oftentimes, cases like this start with tips from City employees who have the courage to do the right thing. Together, we’re changing the culture of corruption that has damaged the reputation of too many good public servants,” said Inspector General Amy Kurland. The city employee who came forward in this case received the annual Inspector General’s Integrity Award from Mayor Michael Nutter at a ceremony in March of this year.


Duncan faces a maximum possible sentence of 100 years in prison, restitution of $1,368,091.19, a $500 special assessment, and supervised release.  U.S. District Court Judge Jan E. DuBois scheduled sentencing for November 20, 2013.  The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the City of Philadelphia Office of the Inspector General.  It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Tomika N. Stevens.


For additional information, contact the Office of the Inspector General, 215-686-1770.

Posted in Employment, Mayor's Press Releases, Press Release, Topics, Transportation & Utilties
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