Former Chief of Staff to Speaker of the Illinois House Convicted of Lying Under Oath to Federal Grand Jury
ROCKFORD — The former Winnebago County Purchasing Director was sentenced in federal court today by U.S. District Court Judge Frederick J. Kapala for two counts of theft from a program receiving federal funds.
SALLY A. CLAASSEN, 57, of Roscoe, Ill., was sentenced to two years in federal prison, to be followed by one year of supervised release, and was ordered to pay restitution of $440,369.83 to the Winnebago County Treasurer, and a fine of $5,000.
Claassen pleaded guilty to the charges on June 1, 2016. In the written plea agreement, Claassen admitted that as Purchasing Director for Winnebago County, Claassen was responsible for receiving and reviewing invoices submitted by vendors and submitting payment to vendors. From Feb. 25, 2014 through April 27, 2015, Claassen used her position as the approver for payments from Winnebago County to vendors to steal approximately $368,137 from the County. Claassen further admitted in the plea agreement that from April 15, 2014 to July 1, 2015, she used her Winnebago County-issued credit card and checks from Winnebago County to purchase items for her personal use, including home remodeling items and personal vacations.
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.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Margaret J. Schneider.