Former Manager at The Art Institute of Chicago Charged with Stealing $2 Million

By Hank Sheridan, The Chicago Times

January 14, 2023

CHICAGO – A former payroll manager for The Art Institute of Chicago has been charged by the federal government for allegedly stealing more than $2 million from the museum.

According to prosecutors, Michael Maurello, 56, is accused of fraudulently obtaining museum funds for nearly 14 years.  Between 2007 and 2020, Maurella deposited funds into his personal bank account by designating funds from the payroll system.  Maurello stole $2 million by altering payroll reports to conceal stolen funds by changing employees’ names, dates, and dollar amounts of the payments.

The Art Institute of Chicago

Museum officials said the theft was discovered in a review of financial control procedures in 2019 which found unusual account activity.  Maurello was quickly terminated and the matter was turned over to law enforcement.  

Maurello has been charged with two counts of wire fraud and two counts of bank fraud. Maurello could be facing 30 years in federal prison for each count of bank fraud and up to 20 years for each count of wire fraud.