Former Adminstrator, Supervisor of Illinois Secretary of State Department of Vehicle Services Sentenced for Fraud Scheme
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A former administrator and supervisor for the Illinois Secretary of State’s Department of Vehicle Services, Candace Faye Wanzo, 58, of Centralia, Ill., has been ordered to serve 18 months in federal prison for defrauding the Secretary of State’s Office and the Illinois Department of Revenue. During the video conference hearing on May 6, 2021, U.S. District Judge Sue E. Myerscough ordered Wanzo to pay restitution and that she remain on supervised release for three years following completion of her prison term.
Wanzo pleaded guilty on Nov. 13, 2020, to one count each of mail fraud, misapplication of government funds, and theft of government funds. Wanzo was responsible for operation of the Public Service Center in the Howlett Building, in Springfield, Ill., where, among other services, vehicle owners pay title and registration fees, apply and pay for license plates, and make sales tax payments related to vehicle sales. Wanzo admitted that from March 2015 to April 2017, she stole title and registration fees and sales tax payments and replaced the stolen funds with title and registration fees from other vehicle owners. As a result, Wanzo misapplied approximately $300,000 in title and registration fees to conceal fees that she had previously stolen. She also admitted to using the United Parcel Service (UPS) rather than the U.S. Mail to deliver license plates to conceal the delay caused by her having to locate and use other funds to replace stolen funds.
Wanzo was allowed to self-report to begin serving her sentence on a date to be determined by the federal Bureau of Prisons.
The FBI – Springfield Division investigated the case with the assistance of the Illinois Secretary of State Inspector General’s Office which referred the matter to federal law enforcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Harris represented the government in the prosecution.