Local News

A former fire department office manager in central Illinois has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $50,000 from the district.

45-year-old Dawn Sanchez pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of mail fraud as a Chatham Fire Protection District employee. The U.S. Justice Department says she is free on bond until sentencing in January. She could face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million.

Sanchez admitted that she fraudulently wrote district checks to herself and used its credit card to buy money orders from Jan. 2009 to July 2012. She resigned in June 2012.

The district says it has recovered a substantial amount of the money and will seek restitution for the remaining funds.

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