CASE UPDATE: New Charges Filed against Pittsburgh Lobbyist for Defrauding 14 Non-Profits, Schools, Businesses
HARRISBURG— Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced new charges against a Pittsburgh lobbyist after 14 additional entities reported that he failed to deliver on hundreds of thousands of dollars of grant funding that he promised to them. Joseph Kuklis, 48, of Pittsburgh was arrested in August and charged for defrauding six local small businesses by charging fees for grant applications that he never submitted. Since his arrest, 14 small businesses, non-profits, universities, and schools came forward to report that they too were victims of his crimes.
“Since my Office arrested Joseph Kuklis last month for defrauding six small businesses, fourteen additional entities have come forward to report that the defendant also failed to deliver on hundreds of thousands of dollars of grant funding he promised to them,” said Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “I will not allow anyone to take advantage of our small businesses, non-profits, universities and schools that contribute so much to our Commonwealth. My Office will continue working to hold the defendant accountable for his crimes and deliver justice for those he harmed.”
Kuklis was charged today with additional counts of Deceptive or Fraudulent Business Practices, Forgery, and Theft by Deception. The fourteen (14) victims are: (1) Seton Hill University; (2) Phipps Conservatory; (3) It’s About the Warrior Foundation; (4) Allegheny River Development Corporation; (5) Steel Bridge Consulting; (6) Rapid TPC, LLC; (7) RE2 Robotics; (8) Alung Technologies, Inc.; (9) Innovu; (10) Glen Montessori School; (11) Mount Nebo Development, LP; (12) Schell Games; (13) McKeesport Preservation Society; and (14) Regional Learning Alliance.
This investigation is ongoing and there may be additional victims. If you think you might have been a victim of Joseph Kuklis, please call the Office of Attorney General at 412-880-0464.
Senior Deputy Attorney General Patrick Schulte is prosecuting the case. All charges discussed are accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
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