Thomas Kulp, who served as an executive director at Universal Athletic Club in Lancaster, PA, was charged last week with stealing more than $200,000 between 2006 and 2012.

Manheim Township (PA) police charged Kulp with three felony counts and two misdemeanor counts of theft by deception and one felony count of theft of services. He was arraigned last Wednesday before a district judge.

Kulp's attorney, Nick Ermolovich, confirmed the charges and arraignment to Club Industry. Ermolovich says Kulp intends to "vigorously defend" himself.

"Tom has assembled and will continue to assemble a pretty robust team to help him that will include other attorneys beside myself," Ermolovich says. "We intend to engage other professionals who will be experts in the field to provide other perspectives as compared with the allegations. We feel pretty confident that when witnesses are required to testify under oath…that Tom will successfully defend himself."

Universal Athletic Club has not made a public statement about Kulp and the charges.

Kulp is a former columnist with Club Industry magazine and has spoken internationally, including at Club Industry conferences. He worked at Universal Athletic Club for 16 years from 1997 until 2012 and served as one of the club's executive directors from 2004 until 2012, according to a report on LancasterOnline.com, the digital edition of Lancaster Newspapers.

Kulp was fired on Feb. 22, 2012, LancasterOnline.com reported. After leaving the club, Kulp became the director of Solution Consultants. Kulp deferred comment on the case to his attorney.

Ermolovich said Kulp is living in New Mexico and works for another employer, although he did not provide further details.

According to a Manheim Township Police Department press release, Kulp manipulated payroll and utilized business accounts to obtain funds and services for his own personal benefit. LancasterOnline.com reported some of the details derived from the complaint in the case as follows:

  • An internal audit found that from January 2005 until February 2012, Kulp gave himself commission and bonus overpayments totaling $180,654.34.
  • From 2009 until 2011, Universal Athletic Club's Fitness Club Consultants program, which was headed by Kulp, reported overpayments of $12,810.88.
  • From 2010 until 2012, Kulp used a company credit card to make $9,865.91 in unauthorized personal purchases.

Kulp also is accused of setting up a PayPal account for Universal, according to the newspaper, to collect payments for online sales, then using money paid into that account to make $1,792.47 worth of unauthorized personal purchases.

Kulp was released last week on $100,000 bail, LancasterOnline.com reported. A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for early April, Ermolovich said.