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Former Allstate employee gets four years in prison for stealing more than $500K

A northwest suburban woman who pleaded guilty to stealing more than half a million dollars from Allstate Insurance, her former employer, was sentenced to four years in prison Tuesday.

Lisa Sterner, 53, of Arlington Heights pleaded guilty to theft by deception of more than $500,000, according to Cook County court records.

In March 2013, Allstate contacted the Cook County sheriff’s Financial Crime Unit and reported that Sterner, a former payment annuity specialist, had taken money from the company for personal use, authorities said at the time.

From October 2007 to March 2013, Sterner allegedly diverted returned annuity checks electronically into an account under the name of Nicole Sterner, instead of an Allstate fund, the statement said. The total taken was $597,038.22.

The investigation found the funds were transferred using Sterner’s Allstate computer system ID and password.

Allstate discovered the discrepancy when a beneficiary contacted the company looking for a payment, and Allstate learned the payment had been deposited into another account.

Sterner, who had been with Allstate for 30 years, was terminated after the company discovered the theft.

Judge Jeffrey Warnick sentenced Sterner to four years in prison. She will also be under mandatory supervised release for two years after leaving prison.