Former Illinois secretary of state worker sentenced for fraud

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A former administrator with the Illinois Secretary of State’s office has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for defrauding the state out of nearly $350,000 over a nine-year period.

Candace Wanzo, 58, of Centralia, was sentenced last week in federal court in Springfield to 18 months each on two counts of theft and one count of fraud. The sentences will be served concurrently.

Wanzo was ordered to pay more than $72,500 in restitution. She also faces three years of mandatory supervised release following her release from prison.

Wanzo had been an administrator and supervisor of vehicle services with the Illinois Secretary of State’s office. She oversaw the public service center at the Howlett Building in Springfield, where vehicle owners can pay title and registration fees, apply and pay for license plates and make sales tax payments for vehicles.

From around 2008 and for a nearly nine-year period, Wanzo stole sales tax payments from those fees and then concealed the theft by replacing stolen funds with title and registration fees from other vehicle owners.

She resigned in 2018, a year after being placed on administrative leave amid an investigation.

In 1992, Wanzo was convicted in federal courts for stealing more than $233,000 from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville while working as a secretary in the bursar’s office.

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