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Justice News

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

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Former Rockford Physician Sentenced for Bankruptcy Fraud

ROCKFORD — A former Rockford physician was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Kapala for making false statements in a bankruptcy case. 

LYNN Y. ZOIOPOULOS, also known as Lynn Shelton-Zoiopoulos, 60, now of Chicago, was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison, to be followed by six months of supervised release, and was also ordered to pay restitution of $858,765.68.  Zoiopoulos pleaded guilty to the charge on Feb. 8, 2016. 

According to the written plea agreement, Zoiopoulos filed a Chapter Seven Bankruptcy Petition on Aug. 11, 2009, signing a declaration under penalty of perjury that the schedules she filed in the bankruptcy case were true and correct to the best of her knowledge, information, and belief.  However, as Zoiopoulos admitted in the plea agreement, she had an interest in the estate of her deceased grandmother that she had intentionally concealed in order to deceive the bankruptcy trustee.

In the plea agreement, Zoiopoulos also admitted to defrauding her grandmother’s estate.  According to the plea agreement, Zoiopoulos was appointed Executor of her deceased grandmother’s estate in 2001.  As Executor, Zoiopoulos opened a bank account for the estate with the balance reaching $855,178 in May 2006.  In October 2008, Zoiopoulos used $550,000 of the estate’s money in that account to purchase an annuity contract.  She later embezzled all of the funds in the annuity.  Between June 2008 and November 2012, with the intent to deceive and defraud the estate, Zoiopoulos embezzled assets of the estate by converting them to her own use, knowing she had a fiduciary duty not to use the assets of the estate for her personal benefit.  Zoiopoulos further admitted she tried to conceal her embezzlements by not filing the required inventory, accounting, tax returns, and status reports for the estate.

Zoiopoulos also admitted she intended to conceal her embezzlements by sending $35,000 to her sister for the purpose of lulling her sister into believing the estate was being properly administered.  Along with the payment, Zoiopoulos sent a letter indicating she had invested the rest of the estate money.  Zoiopoulos admitted in the plea agreement that she had not reinvested the money, but had embezzled it, and had sent the letter to her sister for the purpose of preventing her sister from making further inquiries into the status of the estate.

The sentencing was announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Michael J. Anderson, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of Federal Bureau of Investigation.  

Zoiopoulos must surrender to the authorities on Jan. 27, 2017.

The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael D. Love and Margaret J. Schneider.

Updated December 1, 2016