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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 13, 2018

CFO of North Suburban Automobile Parts Company Indicted on Fraud Charges for Allegedly Embezzling More Than $700,000 in Company Funds

CHICAGO — The former Chief Financial Officer of a north suburban automobile parts company has been indicted on federal fraud and money laundering charges for allegedly embezzling $700,000 in company funds.

While serving as CFO of the Libertyville-based company, MICHAEL PUGLISI fraudulently wrote corporate checks to three shell companies that he created, according to an indictment returned Tuesday in U.S. District in Chicago.  Puglisi fraudulently set up the shell companies with names that closely resembled or were identical to the names of actual vendors of the auto parts company, the indictment states.  Puglisi deposited checks from the auto parts company into bank accounts he opened in the names of the shell companies, and then transferred the money to his personal bank or investment accounts, the indictment states.

The indictment charges Puglisi, 63, of Lisle, with four counts of wire fraud and three counts of money laundering.  Arraignment in U.S. District Court has not yet been scheduled.

The indictment was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Jeffrey Sallet, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider.

According to the charges, Puglisi’s fraud scheme began in 2013 and continued until earlier this year.  Puglisi allegedly made false entries in the auto parts company’s accounting reports and financial statements in order to conceal his theft.  As a result of his actions, Puglisi caused a loss to the company of at least $700,000, the indictment states.

The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt.  The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. 

Each count of wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, while each money laundering count carries a maximum sentence of ten years.  If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Updated December 13, 2018