Fraud Scheme Indictment of Former Illinois Secretary of State Department of Vehicle Services Administrator, Supervisor

Fraud Scheme Indictment of Former Illinois Secretary of State Department of Vehicle Services Administrator, Supervisor

Candace Faye Wanzo, 57, of Centralia, Ill. has been charged by a federal grand jury. The returned indictment charged Wanzo with defrauding the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office and the Illinois Department of Revenue of nearly $350,000. From March 2015 to April 2017, the time of alleged fraud, Wanzo was employed at the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office as administrator and supervisor of Vehicle Services.

During that capacity, Wanzo was responsible for the operation of the Public Service Center located in the Howlett Building, in Springfield, Ill. The services offered at the center include vehicle owners paying title and registration fees, apply and pay for license plates, and make sales tax payments related to the sale of vehicles.

Wanzo stole title and registration fees and sales tax payments, the indictment alleges. The indictment says that Wanzo allegedly concealed the theft of title and registration fees by replacing stolen funds with title and registration fees from other vehicle owners. United Parcel Services was allegedly used by Wanzo instead of U.S. Mail to deliver the license plates. He used UPS to conceal the delay caused by Wanzo having to locate and use other funds to replace stolen funds.

From March 2015 to April 2017, Wanzo misapplied approximately $303,649 in title and registration fees to conceal title and registration fees that she had previously stolen, according to the indictments. Without superiors’ permission or knowledge, in October 2015, Wanzo allegedly changed the SOS policy of not accepting cash for sales tax payments and directed staff to begin accepting cash for the sales tax payments.

Federal Bureau of Investigation with the assistance of the Illinois Secretary of State Inspector General’s Office investigated the case. Government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Harris.

Staff writer for the Chicago Morning Star

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