BENSENVILLE, Ill. – A former mortgage officer who stole $179,000 from Bensenville Community CU and spent some of the money on tickets to a Jay-Z concert and an extreme cage-fighting match yesterday was sentenced to two months in the county jail and to pay restitution.

“If it weren’t for your children, you would be going to the [state] penitentiary,” the judge told Desiree Cortes during yesterday’s sentencing hearing. Cortes, 31, used her position to open up credit card accounts, maxing out four cards with $40,000 limits, and spent $12,000 on a fifth.

She turned herself in last December when the credit union was preparing to launch a new computer system that would allow other employees to see how many accounts she had open.

A subsequent audit showed that in less than four years, Cortes amassed $179,000 in charges for everything from utility bills and doctor visits to video games, airfare and entertainment, including tickets to a the Jay-Z concert, cage-fighting match, “Monster Truck Jam,” “Toy Story on Ice,” and a trip to Disney World.

Cortes was taken into custody Monday to begin serving her sentence. She had no prior criminal history but faced up to 15 years in prison because the stolen funds exceeded $100,000.


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