Chicago, IL-(ENEWSPF)- The treasurer of south suburban Sauk Village was arrested today for allegedly looting the village’s Police Pension Fund out of more than $21,000.
JAMES GRIEGEL, 71, of Sauk Village, is charged with embezzlement in a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago. Federal authorities arrested Griegel this morning. He made an initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Maria Valdez and was ordered released on a personal recognizance bond.
The complaint alleges that Griegel fraudulently issued pension fund checks to himself and forged the names of Sauk Village officials as signatories. Griegel listed the names of conferences and seminars on the memorandum lines of the checks to falsely make the payments appear to have been business related, according to the complaint. Griegel then cashed the checks and used the money for his own benefit, including making purchases at gas stations, rental car locations, restaurants and storage facilities, the complaint states.
Griegel worked as the village’s treasurer from May 2013 until January 2016, when he was suspended from the post. He issued the checks over a ten-month period from April 2015 to January 2016, according to the complaint.
The embezzlement charge carries a maximum sentence of ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine, and restitution is mandatory.
The arrest was announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Michael J. Anderson, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and John F. Oleskowicz, Special Agent-in-Charge of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General, Chicago Field Office.
The public is reminded that a complaint is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sunil Harjani.