Former Paralegal for Chicago Law Firm Charged With Embezzling Bankruptcy Estate Funds

A former paralegal for a Chicago law firm has been indicted for allegedly embezzling more than $600,000 from bankruptcy estate accounts. Becky Sutton fraudulently embezzled the funds from 2009 to 2018 while working on bankruptcy matters at the firm, according to an indictment in U.S. District in Chicago. The indictment states that Sutton arranged the fraudulent transfers of bankruptcy funds from fiduciary bank accounts intended  for creditors to accounts Sutton controlled, including her personal bank account, credit card account, student loan account, and mortgage account.  In one instance, Sutton used a company with a name similar to a true creditor to disguise her fraudulent diversion of the funds, the indictment states. 

The indictment charges Sutton with three counts of wire fraud and three counts of embezzlement from the estate of a debtor. The indictment seeks forfeiture from Sutton of $611,263 in alleged criminally derived proceeds. It is important to remember that an indictment is not evidence of guilt.  The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Each wire fraud count is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison, while each embezzlement count carries a maximum sentence of five years.  If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.

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