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Former Illinois State Employee Charged with Embezzling $750,000 in Government Funds Net Loss of More than $200,000 to State

April 1, 2008

Springfield, Ill. - A federal grand jury today returned an indictment charging a former employee of the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office with embezzlement of $750,000 in state funds. The U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois, Rodger A. Heaton, announced that Debra Kay Kirby, 53, of Taylorville, Illinois, has been charged with wire fraud and money laundering. The indictment also seeks forfeiture of at least $263,408, the proceeds Kirby allegedly pocketed as a result of the offense.

According to the indictment, Kirby was employed at the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office from approximately 1973 until her retirement in 2006. In 2005, Kirby allegedly opened a bank account under the name “Debo Craft.” The indictment alleges that on or about October 26, 2005, Kirby conducted a wire transfer of $750,000 in funds from the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office account at Bank One to her Debo Craft bank account which she controlled. Further, according to the indictment, on or about November 22, 2005, Kirby wrote a check in the amount of $41,006 from her Debo Craft account payable to her bank to purchase an official check with some of the embezzled state funds.

The indictment seeks forfeiture of at least $263,408, the net amount Kirby realized as a result of the alleged offense, or if the funds cannot be located, a monetary judgment against the defendant in the amount of $263,408.

The charges are the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in cooperation with the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory M. Gilmore.

A summons will be issued for Kirby to appear in federal court in Springfield at a date to be determined by the U.S. Clerk of the Court.

If convicted, the offense of wire fraud carries a statutory penalty of up to 20 years in prison. The offense of money laundering is punishable by a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

Members of the public are reminded that an indictment is merely an accusation; the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

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