Former Winnebago County Purchasing Director Charged with Embezzlement

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Following an FBI investigation into the misuse of funds by Winnebago County’s Purchasing Department, a federal prosecutor has charged former purchasing director Sally Claassen with embezzlement.

Claassen, 57, of Roscoe, resigned amid allegations of inappropriate spending back in September. An internal investigation into spending was turned over to the FBI in August.

According to the federal indictment, Claassen used a county-issued credit card, meant for official Winnebago County business only, on personal items. It alleges that she illegally spent at least $5,000 throughout 2014, and another $5,000 in 2015.

The indictment says Claassen would have to forfeit all property constituting, derived from, or traceable to, proceeds obtained directly or indirectly as a result of the alleged violations. It estimates that would be $451,353, which includes approximately $292,525 in funds already seized.

She faces two counts of embezzlement, each carrying a maximum sentence of up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, or twice the gross gain or gross loss resulting from the offense.

Claassen remains free on her own recognizance pending an initial appearance and entry of plea set before a U.S. District Judge on June 1st.

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