Judge gives ex-escort three extra months to report to prison after fraud conviction

Crystal Lundberg was to report to the Pekin federal prison by June 12. But earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Elaine Bucklo gave Lundberg three extra months to get her affairs in order before starting her 53-month sentence.

SHARE Judge gives ex-escort three extra months to report to prison after fraud conviction
Dirksen Federal Courthouse.

Crystal Lundberg was sentenced to serve 53 months in a federal prison on fraud charges, but she won’t have to report quite yet.

Sun-Times file

Like countless others, Crystal Lundberg’s life was turned upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic.

What’s more, the coronavirus outbreak put her on an even tighter timeline to get her affairs in order before she had to report to federal prison after her wire-fraud conviction last year.

But with so much of the state’s business and legal infrastructure slowed by the virus, it was an impossible task, her attorney said.

U.S. District Judge Elaine Bucklo had ordered Lundberg to report to the Pekin federal prison in downstate Illinois by June 12. Earlier this month, however, Bucklo opted to give Lundberg an extra three months to allow her time to get her affairs in order before the start of her 53-month sentence.

She now must report to Pekin on Sept. 30, federal court records show.

Lundberg, a former escort, was found guilty last year of fraudulently spending millions of dollars on exotic vacations, jewelry, plastic surgery and designer apparel. That money came from Nemera, a drug device company with a plant in Buffalo Grove.

Scott Kennedy, a former financial executive at Nemera, allowed Lundberg to use his corporate credit card. Kennedy, who eventually testified against Lundberg, hired her as an escort and allowed Lundberg and her daughters to move in with him.

Lundberg’s attorney, Andréa Gambino, said Lundberg needed more time before reporting to prison to allow her to transfer ownership of her salon business to her oldest daughter, who turned 18 earlier this month.

Additionally, Lundberg wants to arrange for her oldest daughter to assume guardianship of her younger daughter, Gambino wrote.

“During the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, while Ms. Lundberg has not been able to work, she has fallen behind on her rent payments and needs to recover her business so that her daughters can take care of themselves while she is serving her sentence,” Gambino wrote. “Her original plans were to have all of these issues resolved by the coming week, but due to circumstances entirely outside her control, she has suffered a serious setback in preparing for the security and welfare of her daughters.”

Lundberg initially was ordered to report to prison on Jan. 20, but that deadline was extended, as well.

The Latest
A bipartisan majority in Congress passed the Clean Water Act in 1972 because rivers were on fire, fish were dying, and Lake Erie was labeled “functionally dead.” The Supreme Court should not be allowed to rewrite the Act and ignore 45 years of practices to protect the environment and public health.
Calls to 311 for shelter have surged since migrants began arriving here by the busload, the third such surge since 2019. Fixing the overburdened system will be a tough test for Mayor Johnson’s administration.
At a time when this city desperately needs a good national storyline, we have an opportunity to showcase the best of what Chicago has to offer to a global audience of millions, writes the head of Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce.
The boy’s mentally ill mother is working now, and his father says extra income from her would really improve the child’s life.
In spite of its flaws and the babbling naysayers, there is no denying how much the Windy City is still loved. How do we know? A whopping 60% more tourists visited the city in 2022 compared to the year before, according to the tourism group Choose Chicago.