Former Grayslake chamber leader charged with six counts of wire fraud
A former executive director of the Grayslake Area Chamber of Commerce and Industry was indicted Wednesday on allegations she misappropriated at least $300,000 from the organization, the U.S. attorney's office for the Northern District of Illinois announced.
Karen Christian-Smith, 56, of Round Lake Beach served as the chamber's executive director from 2006 to 2019. Federal authorities accuse Christian-Smith of issuing checks from the chamber's bank accounts to herself and depositing them into her personal accounts from 2013 to 2019.
The indictment alleges that Christian-Smith attempted to cover up the fraud by submitting false and misleading financial reports to the chamber's board of directors and false payroll reports to the chamber's accounting firm. She is also alleged to have filed false and misleading tax returns to the IRS that substantially underreported the amount of money she had been paid from the chamber's bank accounts.
Christian-Smith faces six counts of wire fraud, with each count punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison if she's convicted. Her arraignment in federal court in Chicago has not yet been scheduled.