Woman Gets Prison for Stealing $1M from Employer

Linda Bessert worked in the Rockford office of Schaumburg-based Wirtz Beverage

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    A Winnebago woman was sentenced Friday to four years in prison after pleading guilty to stealing more than $1 million from her employer.

    Linda Bessert worked in the Rockford office of Schaumburg-based Wirtz Beverage.

    Authorities said the office manager processed customer payments and was accused of stealing cash from deposits totaling $1.05 million between July 2004 and October 2010.

    "Based on the evidence, it was clear that Bessert had devised and executed a scheme to steal an extraordinary sum from her employer, and for that, it is only right that she be held accountable," Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said in a statement.

    Judge Rosemary Collins sentenced Bessert to four years in prison and two years of mandatory supervised release.

    Madigan brought the case based on an investigation and referral from the FBI.

    The president of Wirtz Beverage is Rocky Wirtz, who is also the principal owner and chairman of the Chicago Blackhawks.