Former payroll manager for Chicago museum siphoned $2M from museum's payroll account to his personal account

The former payroll manager for a Chicago museum pleaded guilty Wednesday to misappropriating more than $2 million in funds.

According to the plea agreement, Michael Maurello, 56, of Beach Park, siphoned money from the museum's payroll account to his personal bank accounts from 2007 to 2020.

Maurello falsely designated the payments as legitimate compensation to other employees.

He also admitted that he kept spreadsheets and notes to track the misappropriated money so that he could later make reversals within the payroll system to hide the scheme.


Maurello was asked in January 2020 by the museum's assistant controller about one of the payments, and he falsely stated that the transaction was a test of the payroll system.

He then edited and altered a report from the payroll system to conceal information about the misappropriated funds, the plea agreement said.

Maurello's sentencing date is set for Sept. 14.

He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison followed by up to three years on supervised release. He could also face a fine of up to $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss from his offense — whichever is greater, prosecutors said. 

Maurello will also be sentenced to pay restitution to the museum of $2,308,772.