CHICAGO — A suburban Chicago man admitted in federal court today that he fraudulently misappropriated hundreds of thousands of dollars from a non-profit organization for physically and psychologically challenged children.
STUART NITZKIN, 45, of Deerfield, Ill., pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud. U.S. District Judge Sara L. Ellis set sentencing for Aug. 3, 2021.
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 Field Office of the FBI. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sheri H. Mecklenburg.
According to a plea agreement, Nitzkin from 2011 to 2016 worked as the Executive Director of an Illinois-based non-profit organization whose mission was the rehabilitation of physically and psychologically challenged children. During that time, Nitzkin knowingly submitted to the organization invoices and receipts for payment and reimbursement of expenses that Nitzkin claimed were incurred on behalf of the organization. In reality, Nitzkin knew the expenses were not actually incurred by the organization but rather by Nitzkin for his and others’ personal benefit, the plea agreement states.
The expenses Nitzkin submitted for reimbursement included luxury vacations for Nitzkin and his family to Las Vegas, Florida, Ireland, and Puerto Rico, personal golfing expenses, tickets to Chicago Bulls basketball games and other professional sporting events, personal medical expenses, real estate taxes for his family residence, health club dues, household goods, meals, and car maintenance, the plea agreement states. Nitzkin also pocketed cash from fundraising events held on behalf of the organization and used the money for personal expenses, the plea agreement states.
Nitkin admitted in the plea agreement that as a result of the scheme he fraudulently misappropriated at least $550,000 from the organization. The government charged, and intends to prove at sentencing, that Nitzkin misappropriated approximately $831,400.
Wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. The Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.