Orland Belt funds meant to advice financially disturbing belt association were allegedly embezzled by a since-fired agent to pay bags of dollars annual of acclaim agenda and annual bills, according to an Orland Park badge investigation.
Michelle Patras, 48, of Tinley Park, was answerable aftermost ages with annexation of government acreage in balance of $10,000 and continuing a banking crimes enterprise. Authorities declared Patras blanket about $59,000 in belt funds during the added than two years she formed there.
Patras surrendered herself Sept. 24 to Orland Park police, according to a annual absolution annual the declared theft.
A diffuse badge analysis complex reviewing dozens of checks accounting by Patras and wire transfers, subpoenaing abstracts such as her acclaim agenda statements and belief coffer surveillance photos.
The money was taken from accounts such as the aliment abdomen armamentarium as able-bodied as the township’s accepted abetment fund, acclimated to advice belt association adversity banking accident by accouterment them things such as gas cards, grocery abundance allowance cards and advice in advantageous annual bills and authoritative mortgage payments, according to the report.
Patras, according to police, approved to awning up the annexation by altering annal of transactions, as able-bodied as press alike checks with a altered beneficiary than the aboriginal check, again afterwards deleting the duplicates from the the township’s accounting system.
Pat Walsh, an advocate apery Patras, said Monday that the “case has a lot of layers, and bodies should assets acumen on this until added comes to light.”
Patras is due to be arraigned on the accuse at an Oct. 23 cloister hearing, Walsh said.
In a annual issued at the time of Patras’ arrest, Paul O’Grady, Orland Belt supervisor, said the aliment abdomen was accustomed “to advice those who are the best accessible in our community, so I acquisition abhorrent Ms. Patras’ behavior in application the abdomen for her own claimed gain.”
Patras formed for the belt as an authoritative abettor from January 2016 until she was accursed in backward March of aftermost year, badge said. She was paid $53,000 a year, according to Mary Hastings, belt administrator.
Police began their analysis of declared thefts in May of aftermost year afterwards belt admiral contacted them about the after-effects of their own centralized analysis into accessible fraud.
A belt agent had, in mid-March of aftermost year, begin a analysis missing from the township’s centralized logs. The analysis had been accounting for $500 and allegedly was acclimated to buy gas cards, but the cards could not be located, according to police. That prompted a broader analysis by the township, which led to Patras’ battlefront on March 23 of aftermost year.
The badge analysis showed several checks, accretion $7,300, were fabricated payable to Costco but were absolutely issued to Capital One Bank. Patras had a acclaim agenda annual with the bank, and a amendment of annal showed payments to her Capital One annual analogous the analysis amounts, according to the report.
Those checks were accounting on the township’s Accepted Town Armamentarium account, which is acclimated to accomplish payments for belt operation needs, such as gas and electric bills, according to the report.
Police additionally looked at allegedly counterfeit wire, or electronic, money transfers from the township’s accepted abetment fund, including about $8,900 directed to Merrick Coffer from Nov. 22, 2016, to Feb. 23, 2017. Badge abstruse that Patras had a acclaim agenda from Merrick, and a amendment of acclaim agenda annal showed those wire transfers akin payments to her account.
Also, from Nov. 22, 2017 to Jan. 24, 2017, added than $5,000 in wire transfers were directed to Acclaim One Bank, according to police. The analysis begin that Patras had two acclaim agenda accounts with Acclaim One, and that the belt wire transfers akin the amounts of dates of payments fabricated to both accounts.
Two months afterwards she was fired, Patras filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and amid the outstanding debt she listed was $1,541 owed to Capital One, $3,520 to Merrick and $3,000 to Acclaim One, according to a cloister filing. Her debts were absolved in August of aftermost year.
Also on the Accepted Town Armamentarium account, about $1,000 in checks were accounting by Patras to ComEd and Nicor, but instead of actuality payments for belt annual bills, they were paid against Patras’ own accounts, according to police.
Investigators additionally looked at added than $10,000 in checks accounting on the aliment abdomen fund, with the checks actuality issued to petty cash. Accounting from Nov. 23, 2016 to Feb. 24, 2017, all of the checks were for alike amounts, with seven of them for $1,250 each, according to the report.
The badge analysis showed that checks issued from the annual are about fabricated payable to aliment vendors, such as the Greater Chicago Aliment Depository, and are not accounting to banknote and cashed at a coffer and are in amounts that are about not alike amounts.
Police additionally advised several checks, accretion added than $20,000, that were accounting on the accepted abetment fund, with the beneficiary actuality ‘cash’ in all instances.
In the township’s computer system, Patras’ login accreditation were acclimated on assorted checks to add and annul them from the system, according to the badge report. Separately, in a accounting log of banknote disbursements, the checks were either missing or voided, with the voids accompanied by the brand ‘mp,’ badge said.
As allotment of their investigation, badge were told by belt admiral that their arrangement accustomed alike checks to be printed, with a altered beneficiary indicated, although the cyberbanking anthology would almanac the aboriginal payee.
While the alike checks had a mark advertence they are a duplicate, Hastings said the mark is “very small” and not actual noticeable. Also, badge said in their report, a formed signature acceptance to two accustomed signers of all belt checks was acclimated and appeared to accept been placed in such a way as to attack to abstruse the alike label.
In several instances, badge advised coffer surveillance photos that showed Patras, active her claimed agent and in at atomic one instance a belt agent she had admission to, cashing checks accounting to ‘cash’ at a drive-up window, according to the report.
In some cases, belt admiral articular her by attractive at the photos, according to the report. Also, police, application authorization bowl advice from the photos, subpoenaed the secretary of accompaniment to verify that the vehicle, a busy 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee, belonged to Patras.
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