UPDATE: Couple Sentenced for Theft

UPDATE: PECATONICA (WIFR) -- The Pecatonica couple who stole more than a $100,000 from their own fire department, will serve six months in jail. Judge Rosemary Collins announced the sentence today, along with another punishment. They'll also have to pay back the $155,000 they stole. According to the Register Star, Collins told the courtroom the couple can't repay Pecatonica from a jail cell.

PECATONICA (WIFR) -- On January 2, Winnebago County State's Attorney Joe Bruscato announced today that on January 2, 49-year-old Brenda Samuelson and 57-year-old Donald Samuelson pled guilty to the offenses of Theft of Governmental property in excess of $10,000, Conspiracy to Commit the offense of Theft and five counts of Forgery.

The Pecatonica Fire Protection District discovered numerous discrepancies after their 2010 annual audit was completed. The investigation revealed unauthorized disbursements made by their bookkeeper, Brenda Samuelson to both herself and her husband, Donald Samuelson. Some of the disbursements included payroll checks payable to Donald Samuelson who was not employed by the Fire Protection District.

Theft is normally a Class 2 Felony but is enhanced to a Class 1 felony due to the theft of Governmental property and is punishable by 4 to 15 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections and 2 years mandatory supervised release. Conspiracy is a class 2 felony and is punishable by 3-7 years in the Department of Corrections and 2 years mandatory supervised release. Forgery is a class 3 felony punishable by 2-5 years in the Department of Correction and 1 year mandatory supervised release.

A sentencing date has been set for February 12, 2013.

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