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updated: 9/14/2017 11:12 AM

Chicago-area school superintendent faces fraud charges

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CHICAGO -- A former south-suburban Chicago school superintendent faces federal fraud charges and is accused of using district money for personal projects.

Federal prosecutors announced the charges Thursday against former Lincoln-Way Community High School District 210 superintendent Lawrence Wyllie. Prosecutors say Wyllie used at least $50,000 of school money to build and operate a dog obedience school and paid himself at least another $30,000 in retirement and vacation benefits that weren't in his contract.

Prosecutors also say the 79-year-old Naperville resident misrepresented the district's financial health and caused the district to assume at least $7 million in debt. Wyllie faces five counts of wire fraud and one count of embezzlement.

Wyllie's attorneys released a statement to the Chicago Tribune maintaining Wyllie's innocence and lauding him as "a model educator in Illinois for 55 years."

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