A Des Plaines woman was sentenced Monday to four years in prison after she pleaded guilty to stealing over a half-million dollars from the Lincolnwood health care company where she worked.
Shawna Wolff-Giesler, 42, pleaded guilty to felony theft on Monday for stealing $562,000 from Lincolnwood-based Econocare, which specializes in helping long term care, assisted living and retirement facilities negotiate prices for various goods, according to the company’s website.
Wolff-Giesler was arrested in June 2016 and had worked at the company as an office manager from March 2007 until August 2015, when she was fired, authorities said.
She was terminated after officials at Econocare discovered "numerous suspicious checks" written to Wolff-Giesler from the company’s corporate bank account, authorities said.
Suburban Chicago arrest photos
A police investigation showed that about 80 checks had been made out to Wolff-Giesler or to her credit card account, spanning the years she worked at the company, officials said.
The checks, forged with the company owner’s signature, were then deposited into Wolff-Giesler’s bank account or applied to her credit card balances, prosecutors said.
They said she spent the stolen money on "everyday expenses."
On Monday during her sentencing hearing at the Skokie courthouse, Wolff-Giesler’s attorney gave a representative from Econocare $50,000 in restitution from his client.
Wolff-Giesler did not say anything during the hearing except that she understood the plea deal she was entering into.
She was immediately taken into custody to start serving her four-year sentence in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
She was also ordered to pay fees and fines of $729 and sentenced to two years of mandatory supervised release.
Judge Paul Pavlus on Monday called Wolff-Giesler’s crimes "deplorable" and told her he would have sentenced her to at least two more years in prison if she had not paid back the $50,000 in restitution.
Brian L. Cox is a freelancer