BOOKKEEPER STEALS $1.5 MILLION TO PAY GAMBLING DEBT
Thursday, January 20, 2011— A Chicago woman has been charged with stealing more than $1,500,000 from her employer after running up debts at Indiana casinos, Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced Thursday.
Julie Nowaczyk, 50, of the 3800 block of West 82nd Place in Chicago, has been charged with one count of theft over $500,000. She appeared in court at 26th and California Thursday, where bond was set at $10,000 cash.
Nowaczyk worked for ENR General Machining Company in Chicago as a bookkeeper, a job she held for more than ten years. Over a period of four and a half years, beginning in February 2006, Nowaczyk wrote more than 300 checks to herself, drafted from ENR funds, without the company’s knowledge. The checks Nowaczyk drafted during this time period totaled more than $1 million. In addition, from March 2008 to August 2010, Nowaczyk paid her husband’s credit card using ENR checks, and through fraudulent electronic transfers of ENR funds. The money she stole to pay the credit card bills totaled more than $490,000.
The thefts were discovered in July of 2010, when the company’s banker conducted a review of ENR records at the request of company owners to determine why the business was losing money. Auditors discovered Nowaczyk’s fraud, and that she had been logging checks issued to herself as payments to vendors or petty cash.
Nowacyzk was arrested Wednesday after admitting to the thefts. Records from three casinos in Indiana frequented by Nowaczyk show she incurred gambling losses of more than $1.4 million between 2006 and 2010.
Nowacyzk told investigators that all the money she took from the company has been spent.