CHICAGO (CBS) — A 50-year-old clerk with the Chicago Department of Transportation has been charged with embezzling nearly $750,000 in permit fees.
WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller reports Antionette Chenier’s job was to process fees for permits allowing moving vans and dumpsters to block the public way.
Federal prosecutors allege, starting in 2008, she began depositing hundreds of checks into her own bank accounts.
The checks were made payable to the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications, but instead most went into a business account she had named “OEMC Chenier,” according to the feds.
In all, she allegedly stole more than $740,000.
Her bank got suspicious in January, and asked her about the accounts where she was depositing the checks. According to federal prosecutors, she told the bank the account was for a cleaning business she’d started, named Office of Emergency Management Cleaning.
Chenier allegedly pleaded with bank officials not to contact the people who wrote the checks, because she would lose her job with the city.
CDOT issued a statement saying it is working with investigators to determine exactly what happened and is immediately moving to improve security measures.
Chenier faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted. She was released on her own recognizance.
She has worked for the city since 1993, and has spent time at both CDOT and OEMC.