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Ex-assistant admits stealing from lawyer.

Byline: Harry Hitzeman Legal Affairs Writer hhitzeman@dailyherald.com -CLMN-

A 39-year-old Bartlett man has pleaded guilty to felony charges stemming from his 2017 arrest for stealing $75,000 from a Geneva attorney while working as his personal assistant.

Franco Morrone, of the 1200 block of Rose Court, was set for a jury trial Monday in Kane County. Instead, he pleaded guilty last week to the charges of theft and identity theft of $10,000 to $100,000, according to Kane County prosecutors and court records.

Morrone entered what is known as a "cold" or "blind" plea in which a defendant admits guilt without having a punishment agreed upon with prosecutors and instead leaves the sentence in the hands of a judge.

On May 17, Judge Clint Hull will sentence Morrone, who is eligible to serve probation and pay restitution but also could face up to 15 years in prison.

Morrone was charged in October 2017. He was accused of using information from his former boss to gain access to a bank account from February 2016 to March 2017 to buy coins, jewelry and fine watches.

The attorney became suspicious in January after he inquired about online features for his bank account and learned that online access already had been set up, according to police.

The Geneva man reviewed his bank statements and determined $75,000 had been stolen through monthly payments made to an account controlled by Morrone.

Morrone also was accused of taking money via ATM withdrawals and opening a debit card in the attorney's name.

As part of the guilty plea, he is to have no contact with the Geneva attorney or another woman involved in the case.

Morrone remains free after posting $9,000 bond, according to court records.

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Publication:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Date:Mar 26, 2019
Words:293
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