Crete accountant who siphoned cash from trust fund gets probation
For years, Joann Lindholm tried to find out what the trustee of her parents’ trust was doing with the money they left her and her family.
She eventually found out the accountant her deceased parents had trusted to manage their wealth used half a million dollars of the money to pay off his own debts.
Michael K. Carollo, a Crete accountant who admitted to taking money from the Edward C. Epstein Trust between November 2007 and January 2009 and using it for himself, was sentenced to two years of probation Thursday by Will County Judge Daniel Rozak.
Carollo, 57, pleaded guilty to one count of felony theft in May 2012.
Carollo did not speak during his court appearance and declined to comment on the case afterward.
As part of his sentence, Carollo is prohibited from performing any accounting or tax return preparation services for two years. He was also ordered to have no contact with Lindholm and her family members.
Lindholm, of Crete, declined to comment on the sentence Thursday afternoon, saying she did not want to jeopardize a pending civil case she has against Carollo.
Carollo initially faced nine counts of theft for taking $520,915.01 from a family trust of which he was the sole trustee.
Assistant State’s Attorney Christopher Koch said Carollo has paid back all of the money. Koch said he offered the probation sentence with the victims’ agreement.
Carollo became trustee of the trust in November 2007, after Marcella and Edward Epstein died within a week of each other.
The financial fraud came to light after Lindholm tried in November 2008 to get Carollo to provide an accounting and inventory list of assets in the trust.
In December 2010, when she still could not get the information after multiple attempts, Lindholm filed a complaint against Carollo in Will County court.
Her digging uncovered evidence that Carollo pulled money from the trust to pay off his own debts. Carollo was indicted on the theft charges in November 2011.
Lindholm’s civil case against Carollo is scheduled for a status update in court on June 11.