A Crystal Lake man has been sentenced to five years in prison after he stole approximately $1 million from his employer in Wauconda through a cell phone upgrade scheme.
Kyle Marnell, 30, of the 1400 block of Skridge Drive in Crystal Lake, was charged in September 2021 with four counts of felony theft, two counts of money laundering, two counts of online sale of stolen property, two counts of online theft by deception and two counts of electronic fencing.
Wauconda Police Department Sgt. Heather Cognac told Lake and McHenry County Scanner that Marnell worked for LACOSTA Facility Support Services, located at 440 West Bonner Road in Wauconda.
Marnell held an information technology role at the company.
He would set up work cell phones and manage the phone plans for employees at the company, Cognac said.
Detectives learned that Marnell, beginning in November 2019, had begun ordering new phones when a line came due for an upgrade.
Instead of swapping employees’ old phones for the new phones, Marnell would sell the new phones and pocket the money.
Police investigators recorded a loss of approximately $897,000 from nearly 600 phones that had been stolen and sold in the scheme, Cognac said.
An independent auditor conducted an investigation and found the total loss that LACOSTA incurred was actually just over $1 million.
The scheme continued from November 2019 until July 2021, at which point the company found out and reported the allegations to the Wauconda Police Department, Cognac said.
Court records show Marnell entered into a negotiated plea deal with the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office earlier this month.
He pleaded guilty to one count of theft over $500,000, a Class 1 felony, in exchange for his other charges being dismissed.
A judge approved the plea deal and sentenced Marnell to five years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
State records show Marnell is projected to be paroled from prison in March 2025.