A woman plead guilty Thursday to stealing more than $550,000 from a Downers Grove law firm where she worked as a secretary, according to the DuPage County State's Attorney's Office.
Mary Marra, 44, of the 3000 block of 63rd Street, plead guilty to two counts of theft in excess of $100,000 and one count of continuing financial crimes enterprise. Both are felony charges.
Marra allegedly embezzled $551,662.66 through a scheme she was able to keep hidden from her employers for more than five years, according to a press release.
Beginning in December 2002, Marra employed several different methods to commit the thefts, including writing herself unauthorized checks from bank accounts controlled by the law firm and forging her employer’s signature on other checks written out to her. Marra also wrote herself checks from the estate of one of the law firm’s clients.
In February, 2008, the bank notified the company of a recent overdraft. An internal company audit followed revealing discrepancies in the company’s books.
While all charges are probationable, Marra faces up to fifteen years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
“Today, Ms. Marra admitted stealing more than half a million dollars from her former employer,” said DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin in the release. “For several years she treated her employer’s bank accounts as her own personal ATM machine, taking money for whatever she needed whenever she needed it. I would like to thank Assistant State’s Attorney Diane Michalak for holding Ms. Marra accountable for her actions and for her continued efforts in combating white collar crime.”
Marra has been out on bond since being charged and will remain so pending sentencing. To date, she has paid back approximately $100,000. Her next court appearance is scheduled for July 27 for return of the pre-sentencing report.