Bluford administrator faces theft charges

A former Webber Township School administrator has been charged with embezzling more than $100,000 from the school district.

Sabrina Wheatley, 55, was arrested in Florida Sunday on charges of theft of government property in excess of $100,000, official misconduct and filing fraudulent tax returns.

The charges were filed by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, and an arrest warrant was signed by Jefferson County Circuit Judge Jerry Crisel.

“This defendant took money from the Webber Township School District that should have funded children's educations,” Madigan said in an Attorney General's Office news release.

Madigan alleged that, on two or more occasions, Wheatley illegally accessed the district's account for the purposes of stealing more than $100,000.

The embezzlement investigation began after Bluford Unit School District 318 reached out to Jefferson County State's Attorney Doug Hoffman in early 2016.

“Earlier this year I was contacted by administration at the Bluford school who had concerns over discrepancies found in their financial records,” Hoffman said. “I then looked into the issue further and requested that the Illinois State Police with the assistance of the Illinois Department of Revenue open an investigation into possible criminal activity.”

The ISP and the IDOR Criminal Investigation Division then conducted an investigation which led to the charges filed against Wheatley.

“With my consent the Illinois Attorney General's Office took over the prosecution of this matter and filed the charges,” Hoffman said.

The Attorney General's Office is seeking to extradite Wheatley to Illinois to face the embezzlement charges, and Assistant Attorney General Gregory Stucka will handle the case for Madigan's Special Prosecutions Bureau.

If convicted of theft of government property in excess of $100,000, a Class X felony, Wheatley would face six to 30 years in prison and the loss of her pension.

According to Hoffman, Wheatley's bond has been set at $250,000.