Northern Illinois comptroller to serve 20 years for wire fraud

Albert L. Wysocki, A Professional Corporation

Last year on our Lake County criminal defense law blog, we had mentioned that a comptroller of a city in northwestern Illinois had been arrested for allegedly committing wire fraud, a serious federal crime. After a lengthy investigation, the bookkeeper was arrested last year and accused of embezzling more than $53 million of the city’s funds.

The maximum penalty for wire fraud is 20 years in prison. This week, the 60-year-old woman was ordered to serve a prison sentence that is just a few months shy of the maximum sentence. According to reports, the former bookkeeper has been sentenced to serve 19 years and 7 months in federal prison.

Our readers may recall that the woman was accused of embezzling the city’s funds for more than 20 years. She was accused of using the money to purchase horses, jewelry, cars and other items for her personal use. She was the only person who was responsible for overseeing the city’s finances for years. According to reports, the woman created false invoices to hide some of the city’s funds. The FBI began investigating the woman in 2011 after a co-worker had suspected that the woman was embezzling money.

The ex-bookkeeper pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud. Her attorney requested that she only be sentenced to serve 13 years in prison. However, a judge noted this week that the woman’s actions have affected an entire community, and as a result, she was sentenced to serve nearly 20 years in prison. The woman was also ordered to pay full restitution. Many of the woman’s possessions that were allegedly purchased with the stolen funds from the city have already been sold in auctions.

Federal crimes, like wire fraud, are serious offenses that often carry lengthy prison sentences. When individuals are accused of committing any type of federal crime, they will want to seek counsel from an attorney who understands federal procedures and rules in order to make sure their cases are properly handled in court.

Source: The Republic, “Illinois city bookkeeper who stole $53 million sentenced to nearly 20 years in prison,” Don Babwin, Feb. 14, 2013

  • Our Lake County firm handles a variety of criminal cases including cases involving federal charges. To learn more about protecting one’s rights and future after being accused of wire fraud or other white collar crimes, please visit our Waukegan federal criminal defense attorney page.

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Northern Illinois comptroller to serve 20 years for wire fraud