Criminal Justice

Former Office Manager Gets 10 Years for Embezzling More Than $500K from Suburban Chicago Law Firm


A woman who stole more than $500,000 over a four-year period while working for a suburban Chicago law firm has been sentenced to a 10-year prison term by a DuPage County judge.

Mary Marra, 44, has repaid more than $150,000 of what she embezzled from the law firm, the Downers Grove Patch reports.

The Patch doesn’t indentify the law firm. However, in an article published before Monday’s sentencing, the Daily Herald reports that Marra apologized in court on Friday to attorney Justin Tedrowe for violating his trust. She had worked for a decade as his receptionist and office manager.

The newspaper also reports that Marra had prior theft convictions for stealing before from non-law firm employers.

Defense attorney Ann Marie Lampariello-Perez had asked for probation for Marra. The prosecutor, Diane Michalak, had sought 14 years. The maximum she could have gotten was 15 years.

The owner of the firm called police in February 2008 about concerns that his books weren’t accurate, the Patch notes.

In a press release, DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin blamed the crime on “simple greed.” He said she wrote herself unauthorized checks from law firm bank accounts and forged her employer’s signature on some, creating a hardship for the law firm that continues to this day. Some of the money reportedly came from an estate that the law firm was administering.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Former Legal Secretary Takes Plea in $550K Theft From Suburban Chicago Law Firm”

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