Five indicted in $6 million embezzlement scheme

Posted1/14/2010 12:01 AM

Five suburban residents will be summoned for a federal arraignment next week on charges of scheming to embezzle almost $6 million from Coldwell Banker.

Charges returned by a grand jury Tuesday say Douglas Volkman, 43, of Park Ridge; Michael Samojla, 42, of Itasca; Anthony Palermo III, 41, of Medinah; and Beverly Zeitz, 40, and Steven Zeitz, 43, both of New Lenox, set up several fake companies and billed the real estate broker for services it did not receive.


The FBI began investigating the case around Christmastime 2007, when Volkman stabbed his boss, Des Plaines police said - only to get hit by a semitrailer truck when crossing the Tri-State Tollway while fleeing on foot.

Volkman stabbed his boss in the neck about 5 a.m. Dec. 26 outside of Coldwell Banker, 2700 S. River Road in Des Plaines, police said.

The Daily Herald reported in 2007 that the boss, a Des Plaines man, suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Volkman had asked his boss for help, claiming his car wouldn't start and that he had lost his wallet, police said.

When his boss let Volkman into the car, Volkman stabbed him in the neck with a long kitchen knife, police said.

Then, Volkman fled the parking lot on foot and was thrown 33 feet when he ran into the path of a truck on I-294 near Touhy Avenue, authorities said.

According to the 10-count indictment released Tuesday, the embezzlement scheme went on for nine years before the stabbing.

As part of their case against the five accused in the scheme, federal authorities are seeking to seize two homes in Itasca and Medinah; a 2006 Hummer and 2003 Cadillac Escalade; a 1983 cabin boat; and almost $79,000 in cash.