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Ex-Illinois Secretary of State administrator sentenced in fraud case

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A former Illinois Secretary of State office administrator and supervisor of vehicle services was sentenced last week for her part in defrauding that office and the Illinois Department of Revenue of nearly $350,000.

Candace Wanzo, 58, of Centralia, was sentenced to 18 months each on two counts of theft and one count of fraud in federal court in Springfield. The sentences will be served concurrently.

Wanzo pleaded guilty in November. A second count of fraud and a third count of theft were dismissed as part of the plea agreement.

See also: Former vehicle services administrator indicted for fraud

Wanzo was ordered to pay more than $72,500 in restitution.

Wanzo resigned from her office in 2018, a year after she was placed on administrative leave and an investigation was opened up against by the Secretary of State’s office.

Wanzo oversaw the public service center in the Howlett Building where vehicle owners can pay title and registration fees, apply and pay for license plates and make sales tax payments for vehicles.

From around 2008 and for a nearly nine-year period, Wanzo stole sales tax payments from those fees and then concealed the theft by replacing stolen funds with title and registration fees from other vehicle owners.

Wanzo used the United Parcel Service instead of the U.S. Postal Service to send license plates that were late for delivery caused by her having to find other money to cover up the stolen funds.

Using her administrative power and without permission of her superior, Wanzo allegedly told staff to start accepting cash for sales tax payments and to deliver the funds to her personally at the end of the day.

In 1992, Wanzo was convicted in federal courts for stealing more than $233,000 from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville when she worked as a secretary in the bursar’s office.

Wanzo will be on three years of mandatory supervised release following her prison stint.

Contact Steven Spearie: 217-622-1788, sspearie@sj-r.com, twitter.com/@StevenSpearie.
Credit: Source link

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