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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Central District of Illinois

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, November 18, 2019

Former McLean County Man Sentenced to 6 1/2 Years in Prison for Embezzling $500,000 from Elderly Peoria Woman

PEORIA, Ill. – Senior U.S. District Judge Michael M. Mihm has sentenced a former Bloomington, Ill., man, Timothy J. Herman, 59, currently of Mesa, Ariz., to 6 ½ years (78 months) in prison for defrauding an elderly woman of more than $500,000. Herman was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $509,325, and, at the conclusion of the sentencing hearing, on Nov. 15, 2019, was taken into custody by the U.S. Marshals Service for transfer to the Bureau of Prisons. Herman will remain on supervised release for five years following his release from incarceration.

Following a bench trial in March 2019, Herman was convicted of engaging in the fraud scheme from 2013 to December 2017, and making false statements to federal agents. Herman, who befriended the elderly victim through her church, offered the victim an investment opportunity which he falsely represented as safe and more profitable than what could be earned from banks. However, instead of investing the funds, Herman used the victim’s money to make mortgage payments on his home which was about to be foreclosed, to pay bank loans, take cruises and to live beyond his means.

In addition, Herman was convicted for making materially false statements about his conduct to law enforcement officers with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service when he was interviewed in December 2017.  

Herman also defrauded a Minneapolis marketing company which waived $149,000 in restitution. Herman’s company, Delta Direct, worked with the marketing company to manage a rewards program for Republic Services, a waste hauler based in Arizona. Republic Services deposited $300,000 to an account controlled by Herman. With the initial $300,000 deposit, Herman began embezzling funds; upon discovery of his embezzlement, he continued to steal funds from the account until he was removed from the business.

Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Darilynn Knauss led the prosecution, joined by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Katherine Legge and Douglas McMeyer. The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

Each year, more than 13% of older Americans become victims of financial fraud, resulting in losses of more than $3 billion annually to financial scams. As soon as a suspicious or fraudulent transfer of funds is detected, immediately contact your financial institution, which may be able to stop payment on the transfer. If you or someone you know has been the victim of elder fraud, contact your local police department. Visit https://www.justice.gov/elderjustice to learn more about the Department of Justice’s Elder Justice Initiative.

Topic(s): 
Elder Justice
Financial Fraud
Updated November 18, 2019