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Woman gets prison for small-business theft

A Belleville woman was sentenced Tuesday for her role in a major theft from a small family business in Granite City.

Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Haine said Jerrica Christine Rudebeck, 31, was sentenced in Madison County Circuit Court to a term of four years in the Illinois Department of Corrections for her role in stealing over a half a million dollars. She pleaded guilty to the offenses on Dec. 6, 2021.

The victims of this crime were Jeff and Todd Overby, owners of Overby InkJet Solutions, Haine said. Over a period of six years, after earning the trust and respect of the Overbys with whom the defendant worked in very close proximity, she started stealing from the business, eventually stealing over $500,000.

“This created a deep financial hole for the Overbys by plunging them, unknowingly, into crippling debt. Through hard work and incredible resilience by the entire family, their business has thankfully survived,” a release from Haine’s office said.

“Small businesses are the bedrock of our community,” said Haine. “They create jobs, pay taxes, support local charities, and pump money into our economy. What the defendant did to this small business, its owners and their family, was a flagrant violation of their personal trust and almost destroyed a flourishing local business that took years to create. We are glad the court agreed that incarceration was richly deserved here, so other local businesses know such blatant theft will not remain unpunished.”

Along with her period of incarceration, the defendant was ordered to make restitution of $511,926.08 and to serve one-year mandatory supervised release.

Todd and Jeff Overby provided the following statement upon the sentence:

“We are thankful that justice has been done here. A special thank you to our attorney Bill Walker, and the hard work of Assistant State’s Attorney Bruce Reppert. And of course our family and friends, who have supported us throughout this Saga. Finally, we would like to advise small businesses: whoever is handling your finances, be vigilant. Have an outside audit done on a regular basis. And report suspicious behavior so that these kinds of criminals can be stopped.”

Haine also thanked the dedicated work of Assistant State’s Attorney’s Bruce Reppert and Jim Buckley, as well as the investigative work of Granite City Police Department in uncovering the years-long scheme.

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