URBANA — The former executive director of a Rantoul assisted-living facility has been charged with five felony offenses related to the alleged theft of several thousand dollars from the business.
If convicted of the most serious, Kimberly D. Cross, 44, who listed an address in the 1000 block of Lancaster Drive, Rantoul, faces penalties ranging from probation to four to 30 years in prison.
Cross was arraigned Friday on one count of participating in a continuing financial crime enterprise, a Class 1 felony, and four counts of forgery, Class 3 felonies. Because the alleged victims are elderly, the penalties are enhanced.
The charges stemmed from conduct she allegedly engaged in while she was employed for about a year at the Villas of Holly Brook in Rantoul.
Assistant State’s Attorney Joel Fletcher, who drafted the charges, said in November, management at the Villas noted that a $1,000 check from a resident had been deposited into Cross’ personal bank account rather than a business account. When she was asked about that, she said that had been an oversight.
However, after the alleged oversight, managers discovered other checks written after that made out to the business by residents that Cross had allegedly altered to make herself the payee. Those were either deposited into her own account or she received cash for them, Fletcher said.
The checks for which Fletcher filed the forgery counts were written on four different days in December and January and amounted to $4,785. The more serious continuing financial crime enterprise charge includes other alleged financial mismanagement during that same time frame.
Rantoul police Sgt. Rodney Sullivan said it’s believed that Cross may have made off with more than $20,000 from the facility.
Judge Adam Dill set bond for Cross at $7,500 and told her to be back in court July 2. She indicated she wanted time to hire her own attorney.
Hadley Phillips, an owner of Villas, said when Cross’ actions were discovered, she was fired. She had served as executive director for about a year.
Phillips said Cross would take checks from residents, sign her name next to “Villas of Holly Brook” and then sign the back of them and take them to financial institutions, which would cash them.
Phillips said the company credited the residents’ accounts “and took the full brunt of the fraud on our shoulders.”
“The residents, we didn’t want them to be impacted by that,” he said.
A new director was trained and has been in place for three to four months, Phillips said.
Rantoul Press Editor Dave Hinton contributed to this story.