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Press Release

Former Treasurer of Illinois State Police Heritage Foundation Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Foundation

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Central District of Illinois

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A Springfield woman, LeAnn Shirley, 57, of the 40 block of Pinto Drive, pleaded guilty on March 7, 2024, to wire fraud relating to funds belonging to the Illinois State Police Heritage Fund. Sentencing for Shirley has been scheduled for July 17, 2024, at the U.S. Courthouse in Springfield, Illinois.

In court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen McNaught, Shirley admitted that, in 2019 when she was the Foundation’s treasurer, she devised a scheme to defraud the Foundation by causing approximately $79,000 to be wired from a Foundation bank account in Illinois to an account in Vermont. After the money was transferred to the bank in Vermont, all but approximately $5,000 of it was then transferred into a cryptocurrency account by a third-party. To facilitate the initial transfer, Shirley falsely claimed to bank employees that the payment was being used to ship items for the Foundation and that the Foundation would be reimbursed in the next couple of weeks. 

The Illinois State Police Heritage Foundation is a charity under Internal Revenue Service Section 501(c)(3) committed to preserving the history of the Illinois State Police.

The statutory penalties for wire fraud are up to 20 years’ imprisonment, up to a $250,000 fine, up to 3 years of supervised release, and a $100 mandatory special assessment.

The case investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Springfield Field Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tanner Jacobs is representing the government in the prosecution.

Updated March 8, 2024

Financial Fraud