Former city employee charged with fraudulently obtaining money from non-profit business association


ROCKFORD — A former resident and employee of the City of Rochelle, was charged with fraudulently obtaining at least $150,000 from a non-profit business association, according to a criminal charge filed Thursday by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Rockford.

The information charges Scott Koteski, 58, of Rochelle, with one count of wire fraud. 

According to a criminal information filed in federal court in Rockford, Koteski was an employee of the City of Rochelle and was selected by the city to sit on the board of directors of a non-profit business association that provided broadband internet technology to smaller municipalities in northern Illinois. Starting in 2011, Koteski was selected as the treasurer of that association. As treasurer, Koteski handled the invoicing and billing of the member municipalities, and as of February 2012 had signatory authority on the association’s bank account.

According to the information, from September 2012 through April 2018, Koteski is alleged to have fraudulently obtained at least $150,000 from the association, which he used for his own benefit without the association’s knowledge or consent. Koteski wrote numerous checks to himself from the association’s bank account, which he deposited into his personal bank account for his personal benefit. Koteski allegedly concealed his acts by writing false information on the memo line to make it appear the checks were for reimbursement of personal monies Koteski spent for the association when, in fact, Koteski was not entitled to reimbursement. 

According to the criminal information, in 2018, Koteski allegedly made online payments from the association’s bank account to a credit card company to pay for balances on his personal credit card, and to an online loan financing company to pay for balances on Koteski’s loan. 

Wire fraud carries a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment, a term of supervised release of up to three years following imprisonment, and a fine of up to $250,000, or twice the gross gain or gross loss resulting from that offense, whichever is greater. If convicted, the court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal sentencing statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.

Koteski will be arraigned on a date yet to be determined in U.S. District Court in Rockford. 

The charge was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Illinois State Police assisted in the investigation. 

The public is reminded that an information is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.