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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 20, 2008

Springfield, Ill. - A former employee of the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office entered pleas of guilty today to embezzling approximately $750,000 in state funds while she was employed at the agency. The U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois, Rodger A. Heaton, announced that Debra Kay Kirby, 54, of Taylorville, Illinois, entered pleas of guilty this afternoon to wire fraud and money laundering before U.S. Magistrate Judge Byron G. Cudmore. Kirby admitted she pocketed at least $263,408 as a result of the offense. Sentencing is scheduled for December 8, 2008 at 1:30 p.m., before U.S. District Judge Jeanne E. Scott. According to statements during today’s court hearing and court documents, Kirby was employed at the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office from 1973 until her retirement in 2006. In 2005, Kirby opened a bank account under the name “Debo Craft.” 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. 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 charges were 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. The offense of wire fraud carries a statutory penalty of up to 20 years in prison; money laundering is punishable by a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

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