Former Schneider staffer sentenced to 9 months, $80,000 restitution for stealing public funds

A former staffer for U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider was sentenced to nine months in prison for stealing nearly $80,000 in public funds.

Sterling Carter - whose responsibilities included managing the office budget and processing payroll - paid himself $79,491.67 in unauthorized salary and bonuses while working as the Highland Park Democrat's director of operations, federal prosecutors said when Carter pleaded guilty in April.

The judge ordered Carter, who is from Georgia, to pay restitution to the U.S. House in the amount of $80,491.67, court documents show.

He also must perform 100 hours of community service.

Prosecutors say that from November 2019 to January 2021, Carter submitted fraudulent paperwork authorizing a higher salary and bonus payments for himself, concealing the theft from Schneider's chief of staff.

"The office terminated Sterling Carter on 1/13/21 then began working closely with the Department of Justice to uncover and seek justice for funds lost through fraud and abuse of Carter's position as director of operations," said a spokesman for the congressman, whose 10th District includes parts of Cook, Lake and McHenry counties.

"The office is determined to pursue justice for American taxpayers, repayment for the loss to the U.S. Treasury, and to make right by the U.S. Congress."

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.