ROCKFORD — A former Loves Park woman was sentenced today in federal court by U.S. District Judge Philip G. Reinhard for wire fraud.
MICHELLE L. McKINNEY, 43, was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison and ordered to pay restitution of $470,454. McKinney pleaded guilty to the charge on Dec. 13, 2019.
According to a written plea agreement, between June 2013 and September 2016, while employed as an account manager by a roofing company that operated a cloud-based construction management program, McKinney schemed to defraud her employer and obtain money and property by fraudulent representations and concealment of material facts. As an account manager, McKinney was responsible for the oversight of the company’s payroll, human resources, accounts payable, and accounts receivable. Some of the company’s employees, including McKinney, were issued a corporate credit card. Without the company’s knowledge, McKinney also had another corporate credit card issued. McKinney also had access to the company’s bank account and accompanying debit card.
As stated in the plea agreement, McKinney authorized monthly money transfers from the company to pay the entire balance of all the company’s credit cards. McKinney used the credit cards and debit card to make unauthorized purchases for her own benefit totaling more than $470,000. In order to conceal her unauthorized purchases, McKinney disguised her unauthorized charges in the company’s accounting system as company expenses such as office supplies or fees.
McKinney created fictitious payroll invoices in the amount of her unauthorized purchases, and also entered her personal transactions in bulk into the company’s accounting system instead of line-by-line to conceal the true nature of the transactions.
The sentencing 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 Scott R. Paccagnini.