Former fire department office manager pleads guilty to mail fraud

CHATHAM - A former central Illinois fire department office manager has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $50,000 from the district.

Dawn Sanchez, 45, pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud as a Chatham Fire Protection District employee.  Sanchez admitted that she fraudulently wrote district checks to herself and used the district's credit card to buy money orders from January 2009 until July 2012.  She resigned from her position in June 2012.

The Chatham Fire Protection District says a substantial amount of the money has been recovered, and that it will seek restitution for the remaining funds.

The U.S. Justice Department says Sanchez is free on bond until her sentencing in January.  She could face maximum of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million.

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