The former payroll manager at the Art Institute of Chicago has been sentenced to jail for stealing millions from the museum.
Michael Maurello was the longtime payroll manager at the Art Institute of Chicago between 2007 and 2020. Over the course of 13 years, Maurello skimmed money from the salaries of employees – ultimately embezzling $2.3 million. He transferred these amounts to an offshore private account which funded luxuries for him like expensive jewelry and vacations in Las Vegas.
Despite the cumulative huge amount, Maurello was able to escape suspicion for the longest time because the amount skimmed from each paycheck was small and was usually dismissed as trivial deductions.
On November 16, Michael Maurello was sentenced to 3 years in prison as well as ordered to pay back the money he stole from his employer. This would be followed by 3 more years of supervised release. The sentence was a lot more lenient than what the prosecutors were aiming for. In January, Maurello was convicted of two counts each of wire fraud and bank fraud – cumulatively, these charges carried a maximum sentence of 100 years.
However, the health condition of Maurello played a role in swaying the court’s decision. Maurello has suffered from a broken neck ever since he was a teenager. He also had to get his leg amputated during the course of the case. Overall, his defense argued, that Maurello was a “shell of a former man” now. It is also worth noting that the Art Institute of Chicago would recover most of the embezzled amount via insurance.