Illinois Woman Charged With K Plan Thefts

September 22, 2003 ( - A suburban-Chicago woman has been charged with stealing $3.6 million over eight years from an electrical contracting company where she managed the 401(k) plan.

According to the Arlington Heights (Illinois) Daily Herald, Evelyn Lopez was arrested and charged with stealing the money from the Profit Sharing 401(k) Plan Trust accounts of 77 employees of Aldridge Electric, a Libertyville, IL firm. The unauthorized withdrawals were made between 1995 and March 2003, authorities said.   Lopez was charged with theft over $100,000 and money laundering.

Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney George Strickland told the newspaper that that the amount actually taken from the 300-employee firm did not include as much as $700,000 more in lost earnings to the participant accounts.The money was deposited in at least 18 different bank accounts Lopez opened in this area and in Wisconsin, Strickland said.

Lopez quit her job as payroll administrator at Aldridge in March after being questioned about accounting irregularities and company officials contacted police, authorities said.

“We believe this defendant simply helped herself to the money her co-workers were counting on to fund their retirement,” Strickland told the newspaper. “She did so callously and over a number of years.”