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Nuria Mathog, Contributing Editor
10:44 pm CST November 22, 2019

A former Lincoln-Way Central employee faces 11 criminal charges after allegedly stealing money from the Lincoln-Way Central Athletic Booster Club by using a fraudulent spreadsheet and forging signatures of the organization's leadership.

Melissa McGrath, 51, of 15628 Waterford in Manhattan, was arrested the afternoon of Nov. 22 and charged with five counts of theft, two counts of identification theft, two counts of theft by deception and two counts of forgery, according to a press release issued the same evening by the Will County Sheriff's Office.

McGrath, a former LWC athletics office assistant, resigned from her position in June, a month after Lincoln-Way Community High School District 210 launched an internal investigation into financial discrepancies in Booster records.

The Will County Sheriff's Office has been investigating the case since Aug. 6, when deputies initially met with administrators in reference to suspicious financial transgressions that had been discovered on the Boosters' accounting books, according to the Nov. 22 press release. At this time, the Lincoln-Way administration reported that an internal investigation had been conducted, and it was thought that McGrath was fraudulently taking money from the Boosters by running two sets of financial books, police said.

According to the Sheriff's Office, an investigation found more than $30,000 in Booster funds were missing from August 2017 through April 2019. The investigation reportedly determined McGrath presented the Boosters with a Booster account spreadsheet that she created and submitted to the district, and that several submitted reports contained forged signatures of members of the athletic club board.

McGrath was arrested at her home, according to police. She is being held at the Will County Adult Detention Facility on a $200,000 bond.