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Justice News

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

Monday, March 18, 2019

Will County Man Sentenced to More Than 4 Years in Federal Prison for Defrauding His Elderly Mother-In-Law out of More Than $175,000

CHICAGO — A federal judge has sentenced a Will County man to more than four years in prison for stealing his elderly mother-in-law’s identity to misappropriate more than $175,000 from her.

JOHN V. KNAPP, 66, of Romeoville, pleaded guilty last year to one count of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.  U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman on Friday sentenced Knapp to four and a half years in prison and ordered him to pay restitution of $177,538.38.

Knapp admitted in a plea agreement that he misappropriated funds from his mother-in-law in 2014 and 2015.  At the time, his mother-in-law was in her mid-90s.  At sentencing, the mother-in-law submitted a statement to the Court detailing the impact of Knapp’s conduct, which included stealing money that the mother-in-law’s late husband had earned to take care of her.

The sentence was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Craig Goldberg, Inspector-in-Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Chicago.  The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Edward G. Kohler and Rebekah Holman.

Evidence in the case revealed that Knapp on approximately 100 occasions misappropriated funds from his mother-in-law’s investment and bank accounts.  Knapp assumed her identity during four phone calls to her investment company to fraudulently authorize $129,500 in withdrawals from her investments.  During the calls, Knapp fraudulently provided his mother-in-law’s personal identifying information, which at times included her address, date of birth, telephone number, investment account number, and last four digits of her Social Security number.  As soon as the funds were deposited in his mother-in-law’s bank account, Knapp fraudulently caused checks to be made payable to him out of the account.

During one of the fraudulent phone calls, Knapp’s mother-in-law was residing in a hospital.  At the time of two other calls, she was residing at a rehabilitation center.

Elder Justice
Financial Fraud
Identity Theft
Updated March 18, 2019