Lawsuit: Sauk Village man embezzled $205K from charity

A Sauk Village man and former financial officer for a Chicago charity stole more than $205,000 for personal use, according to a lawsuit filed Monday by the Illinois attorney general’s office.

Donald Chew misappropriated at least $205,372 from the Marcy-Newberry Association, 1073 W. Maxwell St., which provides early-childhood education, after-school programming, job training and senior citizen services, according to the lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court.

The Illinois Department of Insurance contacted the attorney general’s office after bringing action against Chew in December 2011 for selling insurance polices without a license through his own company, Reassurance Health, according to a statement from the attorney general’s office.

“The Marcy-Newberry Association provides vital assistance such as early childhood education, after-school programming, job training and senior services for some of the neediest in our communities,” Attorney General Lisa Madigan said in the statement. “By taking charitable contributions, it damages the people who rely on the good works of this charity and violates state law.”

The department also discovered Chew made large money transfers from Marcy-Newberry Association accounts into his personal and business accounts, the statement said. The Marcy-Newberry Association fired Chew and conducted a financial audit, which determined Chew had embezzled at least $205,372, the lawsuit says.

It alleges that Chew violated two state laws and seeks $50,000 for each violation, a permanent prohibition of Chew acting as a charitable fiduciary in Illinois and repayment of $205,372.

The suit also asks that Chew be found in breach of fiduciary duties and seeks forfeiture of salary and compensation he received from the Marcy-Newberry Association during the period he was found in violation.