Woman Sentenced For Stealing $850,000

An Oak Lawn woman stole the money from her employer of 24 years

By Britni Day
|  Wednesday, Apr 13, 2011  |  Updated 9:53 AM CDT
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Courtsey of Cook County State's Attorney Office

Joan M. Sanchez was sentenced to 8 years in prison for embezzling $884,299 from a Chicago law firm.

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An Oak Lawn woman was sentenced by a Cook County judge Tuesday to eight years in prison for embezzling more than $850,000.

Joan M. Sanchez, 53, pleaded guilty to one count of embezzling $884,299 from Kelly Olson Michod Dehann & Richter LLC, a Chicago law firm she worked at for 24 years.

Sanchez wrote $836,500 worth of checks to herself and $47,799 to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange lunch club from October 2002 to April 2009, prosecuting attorney Anita Alvarez said.    

The law firm discovered the theft after a $40 check bounced while Sanchez was on vacation in Hawaii.

The firm contacted Chicago police and an investigation began through the State's Attorney's Financial Crimes Unit. It was discovered Sanchez had doctored the firm's internal ledger to show the account had a significant amount of money.

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