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Press Release

South Beloit Woman Found Guilty of Bail-Jumping Conspiracy

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

ROCKFORD — A South Beloit woman was convicted on Friday for her participation in a bail jumping conspiracy following a five-day jury trial in federal court in Rockford.  

According to the indictment and evidence at trial, PATRICIA WERSCHIN, aka PATRICIA FRISELLA, 56, conspired with others in June of 2016 to help her son, Adrian Peters, flee to Canada to avoid federal prosecution.  In July 2015, Peters was charged with sexual exploitation of minors, a crime that carried a 15-year mandatory minimum prison sentence. While the case was pending, Peters was on home confinement with a $15,000 cash bond and with Werschin acting as his third-party custodian. 

Werschin played a critical part in the conspiracy to help her son try to evade his federal charges by fleeing the country.  Instead of ensuring that her son abided by the conditions of pre-trial release, Werschin created fake identification documents for her son to use in Canada, worked with co-conspirators to recruit and pay others to drive her son to the border, and then arranged for court approval for her son to leave the house on June 28, 2016, under the pretext of a doctor’s appointment.  Werschin dropped her son off at Rock Cut State Park where he was then picked up and driven to the Canadian border by a co-conspirator.  Peters crossed into Canada on foot, but the coconspirator was stopped by border patrol as he pulled away from the crossing.  The coconspirator confessed what he knew of the plan and Peters was apprehended in Canada the next day.

Once Werschin learned that border patrol had stopped the co-conspirator, she immediately fled from her home in South Beloit.  Werschin traveled through multiple states, eventually crossing into Mexico.

Werschin faces a maximum potential penalty of up to 5 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000.  The court must impose a reasonable sentence guided by the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.  Sentencing for Werschin is scheduled for June 16, 2023.  Sentencing for Werschin’s son, Adrian Peters, who was also charged in the conspiracy and previously pled guilty, is scheduled for June 30, 2016.  Peters previously pled guilty and was sentenced to 26 years’ imprisonment for the original criminal charge. 

The conviction was announced by Morris Pasqual, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Robert W. Wheeler, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The South Beloit Police Department, the United States Department of Homeland Security, the Canadian Border Patrol Services Agency, Illinois Secretary of State, and United States Marshal Service assisted in the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jessica S. Maveus, Talia M. Bucci, and Lisa Munch.  AUSA Mike Love and former AUSA Scott Paccagnini provided significant assistance during the investigation.

Updated March 29, 2023