February 22, 2013
An Illinois attorney has moved by consent disbarment based on a statement of charges that alleges:
Between 2001 and 2012, Movant worked for the American Library Association ("ALA") as the General Manager of Booklist Publications, a non-legal position. In this capacity, Movant had the authority to request checks for amounts less than $5,000 in order to pay vendors. Movant’s supervisor, Bill Ott ("Ott"), who was required to approve Movant’s check requests, had given Movant permission to initial requests on his behalf.
On February 23, 2006, Movant opened a checking account at Washington Mutual (now Chase Bank). This account was entitled, "Mary Wilkens d/b/a MW Services." "MW Services" was a fictional entity created and used by Movant in order to give the appearance that she was requesting checks from the ALA to be paid to a legitimate business vendor for services rendered, when in fact Movant intended to personally receive the benefits of the checks’ proceeds.
Between 2006 and 2012, Movant made at least 29 fraudulent check requests to the ALA accounting department, requesting that the checks be made out to a vendor identified as "MW Services," in various dollar amounts. Movant placed Ott’s initials on all of the check requests made for "MW Services," without Ott’s specific knowledge as to the intended purpose of those check requests.
Between 2006 and 2012, the ALA accounting department authorized payment on, and subsequently delivered to Movant, at least 29 checks made payable to "MW Services." The amount of the checks made payable to "MW Services" totaled $174,300.53.
The statement also reflects that $175,000 was paid in restitution. (Mike Frisch)
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