Ex-UI employee repays $72,000

URBANA — A Tolono man who stole thousands of dollars from the University of Illinois by forging timesheets has made full restitution.

Michael Wiersema, 37, pleaded guilty in late October before Champaign County Judge Harry Clem to theft over $10,000.

Wiersema, a former academic professional employee in the Crop Sciences department, admitted that between May 2009 and April 2012, he stole about $72,000 from the UI by continuing to submit time cards for work he did even though the work had ended in 2009.

The theft came to light in March of this year and Wiersema was charged in April.

On Friday, he and his attorney, Harvey Welch of Urbana, submitted a check to the court for full restitution in the amount of $72,038. He was also sentenced to two years of conditional discharge for the Class 2 felony conviction. That is a form of probation in which regular reporting to a probation officer is not required.

Assistant State's Attorney Scott Larson said Wiersema had no prior criminal convictions.

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