URBANA, Ill. –Daniel Brue, 48, formerly of Beardstown, Illinois, was sentenced on July 19, 2021, to 2 years and 9 months in federal prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, following his conviction on four counts of wire fraud related to his theft from two area school districts. Brue also was ordered to pay $343,009.52 in restitution.
Brue, who pleaded guilty to the charges, admitted that he abused his position of trust while working as the superintendent for the Bement Community Unit School District #5, and, later, the Meridian Community Unit School District #15. Brue embezzled money from both school districts by creating and registering a fake company and then fraudulently invoicing the school districts for work never performed. Brue stole money from the districts between 2011 and 2019.
At the sentencing hearing, U.S. District Court Judge Colin S. Bruce noted that Brue’s scheme was not “simple” and that Brue took efforts to conceal his theft. Recognizing that the money could have been used to help children, the judge observed that Brue’s crimes would have a long-term, detrimental impact on school districts that were already struggling. Bruce permitted Brue, who presently resides in Virginia, Illinois, to remain on bond prior to reporting to the Bureau of Prisons to serve his sentence.
“School superintendents and other public servants serve as leaders and role models to students and the community at large,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Douglas J. Quivey. “When they abuse the public trust, prosecution serves to restore the trust and reminds us all that public misconduct will not be tolerated.”
“School districts, especially those in our rural areas, count on every penny to provide a quality education for their students,” said Sean M. Cox, Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge, Springfield Division. “Over the span of 8 years, Daniel Brue embezzled school funds, funds which could have been put toward valuable supplies for the students and staff. Mr. Brue deprived students, and the educators teaching them, from having all available resources to provide the best educational experience, and that can never be replaced. This sentence sends a clear message that the FBI will continue to dedicate our investigative resources to stop anyone who engages in fraudulent activity to deprive others.”
Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Springfield Field Office, investigated the case. Assistant United States Attorneys Rachel Ritzer and Melissa Moody represented the government in the prosecution.