Oak Brook woman admits stealing millions from Chicago law firm

 
 
Updated 8/29/2016 7:47 PM
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The last of four suburban residents charged in a multimillion-dollar embezzlement scheme that targeted a Chicago law firm has pleaded guilty, court records show.

Deborah Acuna, 63, of Oak Brook pleaded guilty to theft and was sentenced to 10 months in Cook County jail and 18 months of probation, according to court records. Acuna was also ordered to pay $175,000 in restitution.

During the late 1980s, Acuna and her sister Patricia Lapinski, 68, of Oak Brook, founded DAS Designs, which supplied furniture to the Vedder Price law firm, where Lapinski worked as an office manager.

Authorities say Lapinski's duties included choosing the law firm's vendors and processing payments.

According to the criminal complaint from the Cook County state's attorney's financial crimes unit, Lapinski and Acuna conspired with James Bauer, 64, a floor company manager from North Aurora, and David Leisen, 59, a furniture repair company owner from Frankfort, to create phony invoices.

From 2002 to 2013, Vedder Price paid more than $6 million to DAS, which the women used to finance homes, vacations and other items, prosecutors said. As part of the scam, prosecutors say, Bauer and Leisen were paid nearly $1 million for services and goods they never provided.

Lapinski was fired in 2013 after the law firm uncovered the fraud.

Bauer pleaded guilty in 2015 and was sentenced to two years' conditional discharge, court records show.

Lapinski also pleaded guilty last year and was sentenced to six years in prison, according to court records.

Leisen pleaded guilty earlier this year and was sentenced to six months in jail and 24 months of probation.

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