On Thursday, March 1, 2018, it was announced that the former Treasurer of the City of Zeigler, Illinois had pled guilty to five counts of wire fraud and embezzlement from a local government. The charges were related to events, which occurred when 44-year-old Ryan A. Thorpe served as the Treasurer for the City of Zeigler. By pleading guilty, the defendant admitted that from March 4, 2018 through August 3, 2017, he embezzled $321,399.22 by writing checks to himself drawn from the City’s general account.
The defendant also admitted to concealing the theft by altering the copies of the checks that were sent to the city each month by the city’s bank. Thorpe whited out the name in the payee section and wrote in names of vendors and supplies. The altered checks were then photocopied and placed in records kept by the city. Thorpe also admitted to concealing his thefts by submitting false monthly Treasurer’s Reports to the Zeigler City Council.
As a part of the plea agreement, Thorpe has agreed to turn over items he purchased with the embezzled funds to the City. This includes a side-by-side utility task vehicle, a utility trailer, numerous firearms, a four-propeller drone, two motorcycles, and more items. The total value of the property is estimated to be $35,872.74. The defendant will also forfeit several assets to the United States, including a second side-by-side utility task vehicle, a lot and trailer, five additional vacation lots, two retirement accounts and a tractor.
After the assets are forfeited and sold, the resulting funds will be used towards Thorpe’s restitution to the City of Zeigler. As a part of the plea agreement, Thorpe has admitted that he owed restitution in the amount of $321,399.22 to the City of Zeigler. The defendant is now scheduled to be sentenced on June 12, 2018 at 9:30 AM. Additional details have been made available here.