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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 13, 2019

Former Loves Park Woman Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud

ROCKFORD — A former Loves Park woman pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Philip G. Reinhard to wire fraud. 

MICHELLE L. McKINNEY, 43, admitted in a written plea agreement that between June 2013 and September 2016, while employed as an account manager by a roofing company that operated a cloud-based construction management program, she schemed to defraud her employer and obtain money and property by fraudulent representations and concealment of material facts. 

McKinney faces a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the gross gain or gross loss resulting from the offense, whichever is greater.  Sentencing is set for May 11, 2020, at 9:00 a.m. 

The guilty plea was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the FBI.  The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott R. Paccagnini.

As an account manager, McKinney was responsible for the oversight of the company’s payroll, human resources, accounts payable, and accounts receivable.  From 2013 through March 2014 the company was located in Rockton, and from then through 2016 the company was located in Beloit, Wisc.  Some of the company’s employees, including McKinney, were issued a corporate credit card.  Without the company’s knowledge, McKinney also had another corporate credit card issued.  McKinney also had access to the company’s bank account and accompanying debit card.  As stated in the plea agreement, McKinney authorized monthly funds transfers from the company to pay the entire balance of all of the company’s credit cards.  McKinney used the credit cards and debit card to make unauthorized purchases for her own benefit totaling $475,775.84.  In order to conceal her unauthorized purchases, McKinney disguised her unauthorized charges in the company’s accounting system as company expenses such as office supplies or fees.  McKinney also created fictitious payroll invoices in the amount of her unauthorized purchases.  To conceal the true nature of the transactions, she entered her personal transactions in bulk into the company’s accounting system instead of line-by-line.

Updated December 16, 2019