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CHICAGO – Michael Maurello, a 56 years old man from Chicago has been charged with stealing over $2.3 million in the tenure of 13 years as the payroll manager of Art institute of Chicago. According to the indictment, which was unsealed Friday, Maurello changed employees’ direct deposit account numbers to his own accounts and gave false reasons for the payments.
Those reasons included negative withholding, tuition or life insurance waivers, or accrued paid time off for employees who either didn’t get any PTO or were already paid for it, the indictment alleged.
Although the loss is huge, the museum believes that it did not have any impact on funding activities because it had been taken regularly over 10 long years or so.
The statement from Museum:
According to the museum, there had been unusual activity in accounts during 2019 financial control system reviews. After proper investigation and finding out the wrongdoings of Maurello, the museum handed him over to law and proper inquiry was brought up.
The statement also includes that Maurello then allegedly edited and edited the payroll report to try to hide information about the money he embezzled, changing names, dates and dollar amounts.
Words from spokesperson:
This individual (Michael Maurello) stole over $2 million from the organization over the course of approximately ten years. The cumulative loss was significant, but because of the length of time and the manner in which it was received, it did not affect decisions regarding staffing, salaries, scholarship funding, programming, or other financial aspects of the organization.
“After this fraud, the security systems as well as financial protocols and data have been made more secure and additional procedures to detect any hazard access to the systems. It helps to make the payouts more secure and prevent such frauds in the future.” added in the statement.
Federal prosecutors said that when Maurello was confronted about the fraudulent payments in January 2020, he falsely stated that the transaction was a test of the payroll system.
Punishment of the fraud:
A federal bank fraud conviction is punishable by up to 30 years, while a bank fraud conviction carries a statutory maximum of 20 years. No arraignment date had been set as of Friday, and no attorney had appeared on Maurella’s behalf.
The Bank Fraud indictment Maurello was charged with pursuant to 18 USC 1344, makes it a federal crime to to defraud a financial institution; or to obtain any of the moneys, funds, credits, assets, securities, under the custody or control of, a financial institution, by means of false or fraudulent pretenses and carries a maximum punishment of 30 years
The US Sentencing Guidelines indicates if Maurello had no criminal history and a dollar loss of $2 Million it could expose him to a sentence of approximately 3 years or more in a federal prison.
The Bank Fraud indictment Anderson was charged with pursuant to 18 USC 1344, makes it a federal crime to to defraud a financial institution; or to obtain any of the moneys, funds, credits, assets, securities, under the custody or control of, a financial institution, by means of false or fraudulent pretenses and carries a maximum punishment of 30 years
The US Sentencing Guidelines indicates if McCormack had no criminal history and a dollar loss of $550,000 it could expose him to a sentence of approximately 6 years or more in a federal prison.
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