An office manager at a business near Lake Villa has been charged with money laundering and continuing a financial crime enterprise after allegedly stealing thousands of dollars from the business, police said.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office began an investigation after taking a financial crime report last year, according to Lake County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli.
Covelli said that Margaret Banas, 24, of the 500 block of Shadow Drive in Harvard, was believed to be the suspect.
A business located in the 23300 block of Apollo Court in unincorporated Lake Villa reported that Banas, who was their business office manager, was stealing from them.
The report was forwarded to financial crime detectives and an investigation ensued.
Sheriff’s detectives were able to determine Banas had been issuing herself numerous unauthorized checks from the business and forging the signatures of the company’s owners.
She was also crediting herself with reimbursement pay for items that were never actually purchased by her, Covelli said.
The total theft amount was in excess of $25,000.
Sheriff’s detectives obtained all of the financial records via subpoena and other legal means and then reviewed the case with the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office.
The state’s attorney’s office authorized an arrest warrant for continuing a financial crime enterprise, theft, money laundering and forgery.
A Lake County judge approved the warrant on June 9 and set bond on it at $100,000.
Banas surrendered herself to the sheriff’s office on the warrant Thursday morning, Covelli said.
She has since posted bond and been released from the Lake County Jail.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 14.