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O'Fallon bookkeeper headed to federal prison after bilking client out of $1.4 million

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O'FALLON — An O'Fallon bookkeeper was sentenced to four years in a federal prison for bilking one of her clients out of $1.4 million.

Over at least a four-year period beginning in 2015, Kathleen M. Dvorak, 61, defrauded her victim by writing large checks from her victim's account that were payable to herself and by taking large amounts of cash back from checks she cashed on her client's behalf.

She pleaded guilty to 10 counts of wire fraud in May of this year.

In addition to the four-year prison sentence and three years of supervised release, the court also ordered Dvorak to pay nearly $1.5 million back restitution to her client. She'll also be treated for a gambling addiction.

"While our work on violent crimes often garners larger headlines, the public should be reminded that financial crimes remain a clear federal priority," said Steven D. Weinhoeft, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois. "Financial criminals like Dvorak cause great harm and must be held accountable."

According to the ndictment, Dvorak worked as a bookkeeper for a customer identified in court documents only as "T.B" Her responsibilities included writing checks on T.B.'s bank accounts to pay his expenses, depositing checks he received from his employment into his bank accounts, and recording his income and expenses in Quicken electronic accounting software.

From at least 2015 through June 28, 2019, the indictment alleged, Dvorak wrote numerous checks from T.B.'s bank accounts at Commerce Bank and PNC Bank, sometime's forging T.B.'s signature on the checks in order to conceal her fraud from the banks. She frequently presented those checks for payment at Regions Bank and deposited some of the funds into her personal accounts.

Dvorak also ordered multiple wire transfers for up to as much as $6,000 between Regions Bank in St. Clair County and the bank's Riverchase Operations Center is Hoover, Alabama, drawn on T.B.'s account at Commerce Bank.

She wrote checks to herself totalling $794,725.38 and an additional $114,975 drawn on T.B.'s PNC Bank account, court records state.

Dvorak fraudulently obtained funds up to $8,000 several times by taking cash back from checks payable to T.B. She received $485,002.35 in cash back from the checks payable to T.B.

"For years, Dvorak bilked her employer's accounts, choosing greed over trust," FBI Special Agent in Charge David Nanz said. "No matter how simple or sophisticated the fraud scheme, the FBI won't hesitate to bring all available resources to bear to hold criminals accountable and seek justice for victims."

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