Mary Marra, the ex-legal secretary for Justin J. Tedrowe & Associates in Downers Grove, Illinois, pled guilty to embezzling approximately $550,000 from her former employer over the course of six years.
The Chicago Tribune reports that prosecutors allege Marra forged signatures to write unauthorized checks from the company's bank accounts. She also allegedly made several checks out to herself from the estate of a client. In early 2008, the illegal activity was discovered after a check that Marra had written bounced. After the firm was notified of the overdraft by the bank, an accounts payable audit revealed the stolen money, says the news source.
Marra pled guilty to one count of continuing financial crimes enterprise and two counts of theft over $100,000. With each of the two charges, she faces four to fifteen years in prison. Marra has paid back approximately $100,000 in restitution, states the Chicago Sun-Times.
"Today, Ms. Marra admitted stealing more than half a million dollars from her former employer," said State Attorney Robert Berlin. "For several years she treated her employer's bank accounts as her own personal ATM machine, taking money for whatever she needed, whenever she needed it."