Editor's note: The story has been updated to correct a reporting error.
CHICAGO — The owner of a horse farm in Bourbonnais has been charged by federal authorities with embezzling $2.3 million from the Lemont business she worked for as its office manager.
The charges against Mildred H. Crowley, 72, were filed Dec. 29 by the U.S. Attorney General’s office in U.S. District Court in Chicago.
According to the documents, Crowley is accused of taking the funds between September 2009 and January 2020.
The filings against Crowley allege the money was used to run the horse farm on North 3000W Road that she started in 2015 as well as purchase a show horse, meals at restaurants, department store purchases and travel throughout the U.S.
Crowley is represented by Chicago attorneys Jonathan S. Bedi and Dena M. Singer of Bedi & Singer.
“Millie Crowley is a wonderful family woman, who is loved by all who know her and has never been accused of any wrongdoing before this. Millie is eager for her side of the story to come to light,” Bedi said in an emailed statement to the Daily Journal.
The name of the business Crowley worked for, its owner and the banks involved were not identified in the court documents.
According to the charges, Crowley contacted a bank where her employer had a corporate credit card account in July 2009 and directed the bank to issue a company credit card in her name. She was not authorized to open such an account, records say.
Between September 2009 and January 2020, according to the court documents, Crowley used the card to pay for personal expenses totaling more than $2.2 million and falsified company books and records as well as not filing statements in the company’s files.
Documents filed with the court accuse Crowley of misrepresenting to the company that its net loss of $77,000 in 2018 was due to higher union wages and purchases of equipment. That year, court documents allege, Crowley misappropriated more than $300,000.
Crowley is also accused by authorities of issuing checks to herself from the company’s bank account totaling more than $100,000 to pay for personal expenses.
Prosecutors are asking Crowley to forfeit $2,399,046.