FEDERAL COURT INDICTS CENTRALIA WOMAN FOR THEFT OF FUNDS FROM SECRETARY OF STATE

FEDERAL COURT INDICTS CENTRALIA WOMAN FOR THEFT OF FUNDS FROM SECRETARY OF STATE

SPRINGFIELD, IL — A 57-year-old Centralia woman has been indicted by a Federal Grand Jury in Springfield for allegedly defrauding the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office and Illinois Department of Revenue out of nearly $350,000.

According to the indictment, Candace Wanzo, a former high-level employee of the Secretary of State’s Office, is charged with three counts fraud and two counts converting to own use the property of another.

The first three counts are alleged to have taken place from on or about 2008 until May 2, 2017, while the two counts of converting property are alleged to have taken place on or about March 23, 2017, and from or about October 14, 2015, to on or about August 17, 2016.

Wanzo is accused of stealing title and registration fees and sales tax payments made to her office and then concealing the theft by replacing stolen funds with title and registration fees from other vehicle owners.

The indictment also alleges she used the United Parcel Service (UPS) rather than the U.S. Mail to deliver license plates to conceal the delay caused by Wanzo having to locate and use other funds to replace stolen funds.

If convicted, Wanzo could face up to 20 years in prison on each count of fraud and up to 10 years in prison for each count of theft.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with the assistance of the Illinois Secretary of State Inspector General’s Office which referred the matter to federal law enforcement.

Wanzo was placed on administrative leave in May 2017, when an investigation was launched by the Office of the Inspector general.

The indictment was filed Thursday in Federal Court in Springfield. Wanzo is scheduled for a first appearance and arraignment on the charges on June 24.

Wanzo was an administrator in the vehicles division and has worked for the Secretary of State’s Office since 1999, and earns more than $87,000 annually.

According to court records, Wanzo pleaded guilty in 1991 to embezzling more than $230,000 from Southern Illinois University while she was employed there.

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