Ex-superintendent gets 33 months for Illinois embezzlements

Ex-superintendent gets 33 months for Illinois embezzlements
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URBANA, Ill. (AP) — A former superintendent for two central Illinois school districts has been sentenced to 33 months in federal prison and ordered to repay $343,000 he admitted embezzling over several years from the districts.

Daniel Brue, 48, was sentenced Tuesday in Urbana by U.S. District Court Judge Colin Bruce, who also ordered Brue to three years of supervised release following his release from prison.

Brue had pleaded guilty to four counts of wire fraud in March, The (Champaign) News-Gazette reported.

Federal investigators said the thefts from the districts occurred between 2011 and 2019. Brue served as superintendent for the Bement school district between 2009 and 2013, and the Meridian school district between 2013 and his resignation in the summer of 2019.

According to federal court documents, a tip from a Meridian school employee in 2019 prompted auditors to alert the FBI, which began an investigation.

Authorities found that Brue created a shell company and fraudulently sent invoices to the districts for work that was never performed. After the schools paid those bills, he deposited the checks into a personal account.

The judge noted during Tuesday’s sentencing that Brue’s scheme was not “simple” and involved efforts to conceal the thefts, which could have long-term impacts on the districts.

Brue was ordered to make restitution of $76,576.08 to the Bement school district and $266,433.44 to Meridian. That will come in the form of 50 percent of his disposable income after his release from prison.

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