The former president of southwest suburban Posen has pleaded guilty to a charge that he took money from the community and spent it for his own use, including at casinos.
Donald Schupek, 79, of Posen, pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement during a June 12 court hearing. The conviction carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, plus mandatory restitution and supervised release for up to three years.
Prosecutors said in their pre-sentence report that based on Schupek’s lack of criminal history and cooperation they expect him to receive six to 12 months in prison, in addition to supervised release and a fine. However, U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman will determine Schupek’s sentencing.
Gettleman set sentencing for 10:30 a.m. Sept. 12.
According to his plea agreement, Schupek, while serving as Posen president, directed the village bookkeeper to issue checks on the village’s checking account at First Midwest Bank in Posen made payable to Schupek. From June 2014 through August 2016, Schupek directed the issuing of nine checks, totaling $27,000, the plea agreement states. The checks included ones for $7,000 in January 2016 and $5,500 in July 2016, authorities said.
Schupek has agreed to forfeit personal property to cover the $27,000 owed to the village.
He wrote a check for $7,000, apparently to reimburse the village for the January 2016 check, but the check was placed in a file and never presented to be cashed.
At the time of the village checks being issued, Schupek did not inform the village treasurer nor the Village Board that he had issued the checks to himself.
Schupek admitted in the plea agreement that he converted the funds to his own use, including gambling expenses at Harrah’s Joliet Casino and Hotel, and Hollywood Casino and Hotel in Joliet.
A second count of embezzlement was dropped as part of the plea agreement.
Schupek, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, marked “payroll advance” on some of the checks, but never repaid the village the money.
“The defendant abused a position of public trust, namely his position as president of the village of Posen, in a manner that significantly facilitated the commission and concealment of the offense,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in its sentencing recommendations.