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Hammer O'Justice
Hammer O'Justice, Criminal Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 4479
Experience:  Almost 12 years of legal experience, primarily in criminal law
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I have just discovered that a long trusted employee has admittedly

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I have just discovered that a long trusted employee has admittedly stolen at least $30,000 from a corporate account over the past several months by using an unauthorized credit card and wiring funds from my business account to pay the bills. Could you please explain what the legal process might be and what will happen in the state of IL?

Generally, in these situations, the victim reports the theft to the police. It is generally a good idea to bring copies of all the documents (such as bank and credit card statements) that help prove the theft. The police will then conduct an investigation to determine if charges are warranted. Since these types of cases are fairly easy to prove it is likely that charges will be filed. They are then passed to the prosecutor's office for the filing of formal charges and the case then begins its way through the criminal court system.

The basic theft charge, because of the amount stolen, is a Class 2 felony punishable by 3-7 years in jail and/or a fine of $25,000. In a situation like this, the court would likely impose a small jail sentence and suspend the rest in lieu of probation, where a condition of probation would be to make restitution to you in the amount stolen. There may also be some credit card fraud charges that are applicable here that could also be charged, but theft would be the major one here.

You could also bring a civil case against the person to try to recoup some of the money. Many victims just opt to proceed with the criminal case because the prosecutor does all the work and there are criminal penalties if the person does not comply with restitution. Other victims obtain a judgment just to have more leverage to try to recover some of the money. That is up to you, although since the amount exceeds small claims court you may want to consider getting a lawyer for that.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have a couple more questions...


I believe that I have credit card protection through AMEX and through my corporate insurance. Am I correct to assume that they would then bring the case and I could avoid this?


Also, is it necessary to file a complaint if the person finds a way to make restitution? I do not believe that they would be able to make full restitution immediately, so would I loose my rights to prosecute in the future if I do not file right away? Is there a statute of limitations as it relates to this??

Often, when you make a claim on your credit card that is related to fraud, the credit card company will require that you first file a police report. It depends on the company. You can begin the process of making a claim but if it gets to the point where they require a police report, you will have to file with the police department and after that it is out of your hands. The police and prosecutor will decide what to do with the case at that point.

If your credit card company does not require you to make a complaint to police, you don't have to report it if you don't want to. The statute of limitations for this type of felony in Illinois is 3 years so you have 3 years from the time of the theft to have charges brought. The only issue is that delays make it harder to locate evidence and prosecute the case, so you have to consider that when deciding what to do. Also, when victims agree to forego criminal charges for payment of restitution, they will often have the individual sign a confession or write a signed statement about what they did so if they breach the repayment agreement it is easier to prosecute or go forward with a criminal case. It is not a slam dunk but it often helps.
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