Linda Miller, a former employee of Frey Orthodontics in Algonquin, has been sentenced to probation after she pleaded guilty to stealing $35,000 by paying herself extra wages and bonuses.
Linda L. Miller, 61, of Hampshire, was charged in April 2021 with financial institution fraud and theft over $10,000, both Class 2 felonies.
A criminal complaint filed in McHenry County Circuit Court said Miller obtained over $10,000 in funds from a business bank account from 2016 to 2019.
Court records show the money was stolen from Straight Smiles Orthodontics, which does business as Frey Orthodontics, in Algonquin.
Miller, who was employed by the company and was responsible for managing employee payroll, gave herself unauthorized “bonuses,” court documents show.
Lines of credit belonging to the company were also used without authorization by Miller, court documents show.
The complaint said Miller used the money to pay her own personal bills. Her employer later fired her over the theft.
Miller told investigators that she was due compensation for overtime that she had never been reimbursed for, so she added the bonuses to her checks.
She claimed she was reimbursing herself for money she spent out of pocket.
The company’s owners did not know about the theft and did not consent to it, the complaint said.
Miller entered into a blind plea agreement by pleading guilty in October to one count of theft between $10,000 and $100,000, a Class 2 felony.
McHenry County Assistant State’s Attorney Justin Neubauer said Miller stole $57,047, which includes $14,000 in bonus payments, $19,828 in unauthorized use of the victim’s banking information and $23,218 in unauthorized added pay.
Miller’s defense attorney disagreed that Miller stole $57,047 and objected to that restitution amount.
The attorney said that prosecutors initially said the restitution figure would be between $30,000 to $35,000, which was a factor in Miller entering her guilty plea.
McHenry County Judge James Cowlin sentenced Miller to two years of probation and ordered her to pay $35,000 in restitution.
A jail sentence of 90 days has been stayed and will not be imposed as long as Miller completes her probation successfully.
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