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Eric V. Cunningham

Defunct Wexford-based company CEO charged with embezzlement

Eric V. Cunningham

A Gibsonia man who headed the now-defunct Wexford-based company ITPS, LLC (Information Technology Procurement Sourcing) is facing charges from the Allegheny County District Attorney’s office for embezzling over $200,000 from the company.

Eric V. Cunningham of Gibsonia is charged with three counts of theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property and forgery. The Allegheny County District Attorney’s office was made aware of accounting improprieties in 2018. According to the Butler Eagle, Cunningham spent the money on traveling and gentlemen’s club visits.

The company, which filed for bankruptcy this year, provided information technology services for businesses and school districts in Allegheny and Butler Counties, including the Mars School District.

The relationship between ITPS and the Mars School District came under scrutiny in 2018 when district solicitor Tom King was criticized for his relationship with a board member of the company. While many residents in the district questioned the company’s stability, ITPS officials dismissed those accusations, stating that the company was financially stable. It is unclear how much money was lost by the district as a result of the ITPS bankruptcy earlier this year.

No word on when Cunningham is due in court.

2 comments

  1. The Mars School Board and Dr. Shipley, Superintendent of Mars, squandered taxpayer money. William Pettigrew, while a Mars Board Member and crony of Eric Cunningham, along with Solicitor Tom King were employees/paid contractors of ITPS at the time the contract with ITPS and Mars School was signed. Pettigrew and King had no doubt unduly influenced the Board, despite hiding behind the idea of recusal. Where was the due diligence by the Board? They contracted with ITPS, a start-up with hollow financials. If that was not bad enough, the CEO of ITPS, Eric Cunningham, is more than alleged to have fraudulently used taxpayer money, the funds from the Mars contract, to create an AAU basketball club so Eric’s son could play AAU basketball. In addition, taxpayer funds were used for Eric Cunningham’s entertainment at adult night clubs. Furthermore, were taxpayer funds from ITPS used to fund Mars Basketball events to which Eric Cunningham’s son benefited from in the form of influencing the staff, among other benefits? This wreaked from the outset yet the Mars School Board, Dr. Shipley, William Pettigrew and Tom King enabled this absolute atrocity to occur. This is a case study in what not to do as a steward of taxpayer money.

    • College Admission Scandal – At the local sports level

      Mr. Cunningham’s thievery was driven by greed and to favorably position his son in the Mars basketball program and on an AAU basketball team that played on the Adidas Circuit, normally reserved for elite basketball players.

      In an effort to influence the Mars Basketball coaching staff, Mr. Cunningham gave the impression to the Mars Basketball coaching staff that he generously contributed “personal funds” to the Mars Basketball Boosters to support the Mars Basketball program. Meanwhile, the “personal funds” were, by many accounts, stolen taxpayer dollars paid to Mr. Cunningham via the fraud induced Mars School District contract with ITPS. As a result of this so-called support, Mr. Cunningham’s son received preferential treatment when he “played up” on the Mars freshman team as an 8th grader and was granted a coveted varsity roster spot as a Freshman during the 2018-2019 season; a recognition that was only granted to approximately four other players during the current head coach’s twenty-plus year tenure. It is unfortunate that the head coach’s judgement was clouded and compromised. However, the head coach’s friendship with Mr. Cunningham was apparent for years so it was little surprise to many that Mr. Cunningham’s son would be the beneficiary of this friendship. What player’s were bypassed as a result of Mr. Cunningham’s son receiving preferential treatment? What other kids over the years deserved the recognition of a varsity spot as a freshman? This is an example of weak leadership. In the same manner that a more qualified college applicant may have been overlooked as a result of college admissions personnel being frauded and bribed; unfortunately, kids in the Mars basketball program may have fell victim to a similar fraud.

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