- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 6, 2014

BURNHAM, Ill. (AP) - A longtime elected clerk for a suburban Chicago village stole more than $650,000 over nearly 10 years and spent most of the ill-gotten cash at casinos, federal prosecutors said on Tuesday.

Nancy Dobrowski, 70, of Burnham, fixed bookkeeping records to conceal she was pocketing money paid to Burnham for sewer services, liquor licenses, towing and for other fees or fines, the U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago said in a statement.

Dobrowski held the elected position of Burnham clerk for more than 30 years until she resigned on May 29, 2013, when FBI agents executed search warrants for her village hall office. The alleged thefts took place from about 2004 to 2013.

Burnham, which has around 4,000 residents, is located just southwest of Chicago, near the border with Indiana. There are several casinos across the state line, including the Horseshoe Hammond Casino in Hammond, Indiana.

Dobrowski is charged with one count each of wire fraud and filing a false federal income tax return. The fraud charge carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence, and she faces up to three years in prison on the tax count.

Her lawyer’s name was not released, and a phone number was disconnected at a listing for Dobrowski in Burnham.

Dobrowski allegedly shifted around, delayed and staggered deposits to help hide the thefts. She also destroyed cash register tape that could have revealed that village revenue didn’t match deposits into village bank accounts, prosecutors say.

A message seeking comment from the mayor of Burnham, Robert E. Polk, was not returned on Tuesday.


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