Written by Bob Rakow
An Oak Lawn man who allegedly used his position as a back office manager at a Chicago trading firm to steal or divert payments intended to go to the firm’s co-owners was charged with wire fraud last Friday.
Joseph Tagler, 29, of the 5100 block of 105th Street, was charged with fraud after the FBI discovered a $9,550 wire transfer that took place in January.
The charge was announced by Robert J. Holley, special agent in charge of the Chicago FBI field office, and Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.
Tagler was arrested last Thursday by FBI agents at his residence and appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheila Finnegan, who released him on a $50,000 bond. No future court date has been set.
The charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and maximum fine of $250,000.
The complaint, filed last Wednesday, alleges that Tagler, a back office manager and member of the board of directors for Eagle Market Makers, stole a total of more than $700,000 during a 26-month period and that the money was used for his personal use, including the purchase of a property for himself and his brother-in-law in Walkerton, Ind.
The complaint further alleges that the scheme was discovered last month when one of the company co-owners was preparing file tax returns and noticed that the amount he received in dividend payments was less than what it appeared he was paid in paperwork he received from the company.
According to the complaint, Tagler transferred funds in July 2011 and March 2013 for the purchase of two real estate parcels in Indiana. The complaint further alleges that the same account was used to deposit funds in the amounts of approximately $323,700 in 2012 and approximately $496,000 in 2013, which funds were primarily a co-owner’s dividend checks.
Most deposited funds were withdrawn from the account through checks made out to “cash.” The checks appeared to be endorsed by Tagler, who allegedly signed a co-owner’s name, the complaint said.