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Woman accused of spending more than $25K of company’s money

A woman accused of stealing more than $25,000 from her Crystal Lake employer said she was allowed to use the company’s credit cards for personal spending, claiming it was part of her compensation.

Attorneys gave closing arguments Friday in the trial of a 51-year-old woman facing a felony theft charge punishable by as many as seven years in prison.

Darcie M. Wagner testified she used company credit cards to make personal purchases at places that included Sally Beauty Supply, Ross, Discovery and liquor stores. She’s also accused of taking more than $18,000 in cash advances from her employer’s bank accounts.

Wagner, of Spring Grove, began working for the Crystal Lake business in 2014 and resigned in 2017. In that time, she spent more than $25,000 with three company cards. Her employer, however, knew about the spending, and used the cards as a way to supplement Wagner’s less than $20,000 annual income, she said.

When prosecutors questioned why Wagner resigned shortly after other employees caught on to the company’s cash flow problems, Wagner testified she was uncomfortable with unwanted sexual advances from a co-worker.

The man is not involved in any civil or criminal case tied to the sexual harassment claims, which Wagner didn’t report to police when they arrested her, McHenry County Assistant State’s Attorney Randi Freese said.

Wagner’s former boss didn’t know how “severe” the woman’s spending had become until a check bounced in 2017, he testified.

Shortly afterward, Wagner put a letter on his desk apologizing for being a “bad person” and promising to use her future paychecks to pay back the money she said she owed him.

Pressed on the subject Friday, Wagner claimed the letter referred to about $600 her boss previously had loaned her, which she intended to pay back.

Wagner’s attorney, Robert Deters, suggested the man knew exactly how much Wagner was spending, but didn’t want to explain to other employees why he continued to allow her to use the business’ credit cards.

Sometime after Wagner no longer worked for the company, she called her former boss to ask for money, the man testified. She allegedly threatened that if he didn’t give her the money, she would tell the man’s wife he “touched her rear end,” the man testified.

Deters declined to say whether the woman has future plans to take legal action tied to the sexual harassment claims she made in court Friday.

“She took advantage of somebody who gave her a job,” Freese said during closing arguments.

McHenry County Judge Sharon Prather is expected to make her ruling Nov. 19.

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