Wall of Fame Class of 2021
Thomas P. Crofcheck ’73 attended Bloomsburg University and graduated with a degree in Accounting. He then began work as an auditor for the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, a position he held for 35 years before his retirement. During his time with the Commonwealth, he held roles of increasing responsibility and challenges, being promoted to Audit Director for the Bureau of Financial Operations in 1999. As audit director, Tom was responsible for Internal Audit Decisions for the state of Pennsylvania, managing a staff of over 30 field auditors, with offices in Scranton, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Harrisburg. He is a Certified Fraud Examiner and Certified Government Financial Manager and was responsible for performance audits and fraud and abuse audits of the Pennsylvania Department of Welfare with annual budgets of over $14 billion.
In 2004, as the Director of Internal Audits, he showed uncommon diligence and resolve as he initiated a state audit of the juvenile detention center at the heart of the kids-for-cash scandal. He began to look into the 20-year, $58 million lease and operation of a private for-profit juvenile detention center in Northeastern Pennsylvania that contained fraudulently inflated expenses.
The audit resulted in the termination of the lease and a criminal case that drew national attention to a gross abuse of the legal system that victimized unprotected juveniles. Demonstrating courage and admirable leadership despite being personally sued by the owners of the facility because of his audit, he pursued a complex investigation against powerful vested interests and under a national spotlight. The audit resulted in the termination of the lease and initiated a federal investigation and series of subsequent lawsuits in which 4,500 to 6,500 former juvenile defendants had their tainted sentences vacated. Advocates described this as “one of the most serious judicial scandals in the history of the United States.”
In May of 2010, Tom was awarded the prestigious Governor’s Award of Excellence for his efforts on this audit. The Governor’s Awards for Excellence are presented to recognize exemplary commonwealth employees for accomplishments that reflect initiative, leadership and a strong commitment to service. Tom was also recognized by the Pennsylvania Senate. His efforts were spotlighted by CNBC’s American Greed segment titled Kids-for-Cash. As a result of this case, there were significant changes in Pennsylvania law regarding alleged delinquent children.
Retiring in 2012, Tom occupies his time as treasurer for both the Foster Township Fearnots Volunteer Fire Company and American Legion Riders Post 473, completing various projects around the house, and being the best “PaPa” to his five young grandchildren.