Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Former Chief Technology Officer at Christian Liberty Academy Arrested; Accused of Transferring $293K from School for Personal Gain

A former administrator and technology officer of Christian Liberty Academy was charged this week with allegedly engaging in a financial crimes scheme for his personal benefit, officials with the Office of Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez said Wednesday.

Michael Burrei, 41, a former chief technology officer at the Christian Liberty Academy in Arlington Heights and current resident of Tennessee, was charged with the felony offenses of theft from a school or place of worship and continuing a financial crimes enterprise. The charges followed an investigation by the State's Attorney's Financial Crimes Unit and the Arlington Heights Police Department, officials said.

Burrei is alleged to have transferred more than $293,000 in school revenues for his own personal use over the course of a 15-month period, officials said.

According to prosecutors, Burrei created a PayPal account in July 2013 to enable online purchases to be made on the school's online store. The revenue generated by the site was allegedly deposited directly into the PayPal account which was managed solely by Burrei, prosecutors said. Since Burrei was the sole administrator of the account, he was capable of transferring funds to other accounts.

Investigators determined that over 100 transfers were made from the PayPal account administered by Burrei into his personal checking account between August 2013 and November 2014, according to officials.

Burrei was also incurring extensive unknown personal expenses during this time -- debiting between $10,000 and $35,000 per month from his checking account.

The school's PayPal account was closed with a zero balance by Burrei without the authority of administrators from the Christian Liberty Academy on December 29, 2014.

When school officials confronted Burrei about his closing the account, he allegedly said he was not responsible and claimed that the account had over $273,000 in it, officials said.

Christian Liberty Academy reported the suspicious financial activity to the Arlington Heights Police Department. Detectives from the Arlington Heights Police Department traveled to Tennessee and located Burrei at his residence in Nashville earlier this year. During police contact, he allegedly admitted to making the transfers to his personal account and agreed to return to Illinois to surrender to authorities, officials said.

According to the state's attorney release, Burrei appeared in court Wednesday in Rolling Meadows Cook County Circuit Court.

A Cook County judge set his bond at $100,000, with his next court date set for April 22.

A Linkedin profiled search resulted in one match for "Michael Burrei" with the following "Experience" listing ...

Michael Burrei

Academic Excellence, Inc.
January 2015 – Present (1 year 3 months)

Chief Technology Officer
Christian Educational Supply Company
November 2011 – Present (4 years 5 months)

Chief Executive Officer
Burrei Consulting
June 2011 – Present (4 years 10 months)

Chief Operations Officer
July 2006 – June 2011 (5 years)
Greater Chicago Area

Rulesware Partner
TriWest Healthcare Alliance
2009 – 2010 (1 year)

SunTrust Bank
2007 – 2010 (3 years)

Mellon Bank
2007 – 2007 (less than a year)

Allstate Insurance
July 2001 – July 2006 (5 years 1 month)

Christian Liberty
1998 – 2001 (3 years)

Suspects are innocent until proven guilty in court of law.

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felony offenses, theft from a school or place of worship and continuing a financial crimes enterprise, Christian Liberty Academy, Arlington Heights Police Department, financial crime Arlington Heights
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