☷Former Morton Illinois Man Sentenced to More Than Five Years in Prison for Wire Fraud Money Laundering and Making a False Tax Return
Federal Bureau of Investigation ( By Press Release office)
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Former Morton , Illinois Man Sentenced to Over Five Years in Prison for Wire Fraud , Money Laundering , and Making a False Tax Return PEORIA , Ill . – A Tampa , Florida man , Steven Racich , 49 , formerly of the 100 block of West Jefferson , in Morton , Illinois , was sentenced on April 27 , 2022 , to 68 months in prison for wire fraud , money laundering , and making and subscribing a false return . He also was ordered to serve three years of supervised release . And his sentence included paying $1 , 912 , 692 . 75 in restitution to Apria Healthcare and the Internal Revenue Service . At the sentencing hearing , the government presented evidence that Racich was an employee of Apria Healthcare , a national business with a branch in Peoria , Illinois . Apria offers clinical services and sells at - home medical equipment , including CPAP machines . Racich worked at Apria from 2008 to 2017 , and served as the branch manager . During an internal audit in December 2017 , Apria officials discovered the Peoria office was incurring unexplained and excessive shipping costs . The investigation established that Racich was stealing CPAP machines from Apria and selling them to third parties for his own profit , using Apria’s accounts to ship the machines . It was discovered that Racich created a business and used an alias to communicate with customers , paying himself through a PayPal account under the alias name . The embezzlement occurred from as early as 2013 until Racich was terminated in December 2017 . The fraud netted Racich over $1 . 4 million in profit . Racich used the unlawful funds to support his lifestyle , spending it on airfare , vehicle payments , and weekend trips . The Internal Revenue Service investigation also uncovered evidence that Racich failed to report the income on his taxes , leading to the false tax return charges . Also at the hearing , U . S . District Judge James Shadid found that Racich was eligible for an enhanced sentence because his position as branch manager enabled him to abuse a position of private trust with Apria , which facilitated the commission and concealment of the offense . Racich was indicted in July 2020 and pleaded guilty in November 2021 . Racich has been on pretrial release since his indictment . The statutory penalties for wire fraud are up to 20 years imprisonment , up to a $250 , 000 fine , and up to three years of supervised release . The penalties for money laundering are up to 20 years imprisonment , up to three years of supervised release , and up to a $500 , 000 fine or two times the property value involved . The penalties for making and subscribing a false return are up to three years imprisonment , up to a $250 , 000 fine , and one year of supervised release . “Every year , the people of the Central District of Illinois fulfill their civic obligation to fund our governmental system through paying taxes , ” stated Assistant U . S . Attorney Katherine G . Legge . “Unfortunately , a few shirk that duty or worse , attempt to profit at the expense of their fellow citizens . Such behavior is not only illegal but unjust . It is our responsibility to hold accountable those who embezzle from employers and attempt to cheat the system for personal gain . ”“Honest and law - abiding citizens are fed up with the likes of those who use deceit and fraud to line their pockets with ill - gotten money as well as skirt their tax obligations , ” said Justin Campbell , IRS Criminal Investigation , Special Agent in Charge , Chicago Field Office . Mr . Racich’s actions not only caused negative financial harm to his employer but also the honest taxpayer when he committed significant tax fraud violations , in not paying taxes on over $1 . 4 million . ”The Internal Revenue Service and Federal Bureau of Investigations investigated the case . Assistant U . S . Attorney Katherine G . Legge represented the government in the prosecution .
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