Former civic official siphoned $300,000 from chamber group: feds

Gavel, courtroom Photo credit Getty Images

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) — A former executive director of the Grayslake Chamber of Commerce is facing federal fraud charges and is accused of misappropriating at least $300,000 from the organization.

Karen Christian-Smith, 56, of Round Lake Beach headed the chamber group for 13 years. From 2013 to 2019, an indictment alleges, she issued checks from the chamber’s bank accounts to herself and deposited them into her personal accounts. She allegedly spent the money for her own personal use and benefit.

She also filed false and misleading tax returns, prosecutors said.

A Lake County Journal article on Christian-Smith in 2013 says both her parents had been executive director of the Grayslake Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber commented said “new procedures” are in place to prevent loss of funds. Christian-Smith’s employment ended in 2019, the organization said.

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