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Former Bookkeeper at Peoria Construction Company Charged with Defrauding Employer of $500,000

May 22, 2008

Peoria, Ill. – The U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois, Rodger A. Heaton, announced that a federal grand jury today charged Dianna L. Schubert, 45, of Washington, Illinois, with defrauding her former employer of approximately $500,000. Schubert is charged with nine counts of mail fraud and seven counts of bank fraud. The U.S. District Clerk will issue Schubert a notice to appear in federal court in Peoria, Illinois, on a date to be determined by the court.

According to the indictment, Schubert worked nearly 20 years as a bookkeeper for Van Buskirk Construction Company in Peoria, Illinois. The scheme to defraud allegedly began as early as 1999 and continued to November 2007. The indictment alleges Schubert carried out the fraud scheme by making false entries in the company’s books and records reflecting that certain checks were void or payable to company vendors, when in fact, the checks were payable to Schubert. Schubert allegedly forged signatures on company checks and endorsed, cashed and deposited the unauthorized checks on Van Buskirk’s account into her bank accounts. Schubert also allegedly destroyed and concealed cancelled checks and business bank statements to conceal the fraud.

The charges were investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Peoria Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Darilynn J. Knauss.

If convicted, each offense of mail and bank fraud carries a maximum statutory penalty of 30 years in prison and fines of up to $1,000,000. Final sentences are determined by the court. In imposing sentence, the court may consider federal sentencing guidelines, which include a defendant’s criminal history, the amount of loss, and other applicable factors.

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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