An Aurora man on Wednesday admitted stealing nearly $300,000 from an Oak Brook company where he worked as a bookkeeper.
Shaun Horan, 32, faces a maximum 15 years in prison but also could receive probation after pleading guilty to felony theft.
Horan was a bookkeeper at Resource 1, an IT staffing and consulting firm in Oak Brook. Prosecutors said he began writing unauthorized checks to himself about six months after joining the company in 2006.
By December 2011, he had taken more than $291,000, putting some of the money toward a car and a down payment on a house.
Assistant State's Attorney Diane Michalak said Horan used a CEO signature stamp to fill out checks and then "doctored the books" so it would appear someone else received the money.
In late 2011, a co-worker noticed a questionable $2,500 check and confronted Horan about it in an email. In a written reply, Horan said he assumed he would be fired and that his actions were "out of desperation to support my family," according to Michalak.
A subsequent police investigation uncovered the full scope of the thefts.
Horan pleaded guilty to a single theft charge in exchange for having a second count dismissed. His attorney, Rick Kayne, said the defense and prosecution still were negotiating a possible sentencing agreement but he believes his client, who has no prior criminal history and has been jailed for a year, is a good candidate for probation.
"He's been very cooperative with the company and police, and he's very remorseful," Kayne said. "Even before the police were involved, he had already apologized. He was very forthright."
DuPage County Judge Robert Kleeman accepted the plea and continued the case to July 30.