Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era
Former fitness exec is charged
Police: He took $200K from Universal BY P.J. REILLY, Staff Writer
A former top employee at a Manheim Township fitness club was charged this week with stealing more than $200,000 from the club over a seven-year period.
Thomas Warren Kulp, 46, now of Los Ranchos, N.M., gave himself inflated bonuses, used company credit cards for personal purchases and siphoned money from online sales to his own accounts while working as one of four executive directors at Universal Athletic Club, 2323 Oregon Pike, police allege.
Kulp is charged with three felony counts and two misdemeanor counts of theft by deception and one felony count of theft of services.
He was arraigned Wednesday before District Judge David Miller and released on $100,000 bail.
According to a criminal complaint filed by Manheim Township police, Kulp worked at Universal from 1997 to 2012.
In 2004, Kulp, who ran in marathons and competed in national triathlons, was promoted to one of four executive director positions. Those four people managed all club operations, police said.
When he was promoted, Kulp was offered a base salary of $50,000, plus bonuses based on the club's profitability.
Instead, the complaint states, Kulp opted to take a lower salary, plus bonuses derived from membership sales and from revenue derived from personal training he performed.
In 2006, two of the four executive directors left Universal, and Kulp began overseeing all operations, the complaint states. The new duties included responsibility for reviewing and authorizing the club's payroll, which included Kulp's own salary and bonuses.
Universal hired a new controller -- Daniel Gonzalez -- in January 2012.
Shortly after starting his job, Gonzalez discovered "discrepancies in the dollar amounts Thomas Kulp should have been paid, and what he had authorized himself to be paid," the complaint states.
Gonzalez reported the discrepancies to club owner Rick Casselbury, who also is president of Manheim Township's board of commissioners.
Casselbury then asked Gonzalez to perform an internal audit of Kulp's financial activities, the complaint states.
The audit found that from January 2005 to February 2012, Kulp gave himself commission and bonus overpayments totaling $180,654.34.
From 2009-11, the club's Fitness Club Consultants program, which was headed by Kulp, reported overpayments of $12,810.88.
And from 2010-12, 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 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 fired by Universal on Feb. 22, 2012, the complaint states.
Kulp could not be reached Friday for comment.
Likewise, Casselbury did not immediately return a reporter's phone call.