Former cancer charity director sentenced for embezzling

A West Chicago woman and former executive director of a Chicago cancer charity was ordered to pay restitution Wednesday for misspending thousands of dollars of the organization’s money.

DuPage County Judge Liam Brennan ordered Charlene McMann, 65, to pay restitution after she pleaded guilty Dec. 1 to personal use of charitable assets, a Class 2 felony, according to a statement from the Illinois Attorney General’s Office.

From 2010-13, as executive director of the Chicago Blood Cancer Foundation, McMann made “numerous transfers” from the foundations’ bank accounts into her own account to spend for personal use, including casino trips, according to the statement.

The foundation was created in 2010 with the mission of curing blood cancers through fundraising, education, research, promoting access to care and advocating for those affected, according to the statement.

McMann was ordered to pay $44,085 to the Chicago-based Cancer Research Foundation, which shares a similar mission as the now-defunct Chicago Blood Cancer Foundation. She also received two years’ probation.

“The defendant betrayed the well-intentioned donors of this charity, choosing instead to take their donations for her own personal use,” said Attorney General Lisa Madigan in the statement. “Today’s sentencing requires the defendant to reimburse the stolen money to a charity with the mission of curing cancer.”