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Bitter Cold Keeps Couple Charged With Embezzlement in Jail

The cold weather kept the case on ice.

Charles and Michelle Sopko, of the 5200 block of Kathleen Court in Oak Forest, are each charged with felony theft of government property. Photo: Palos Heights PD
Charles and Michelle Sopko, of the 5200 block of Kathleen Court in Oak Forest, are each charged with felony theft of government property. Photo: Palos Heights PD
The freezing temps are not only keeping kids out of school and workers at home, they are also keeping Cook County inmates away from court. 

Michelle and Charles Sopko are still in custody after a hearing to determine the source of their bail funds was delayed because Cook County inmates are not being transported to courthouses in the extreme weather conditions. 

Each defendants' lawyer was set to present witnesses that would offer the judge proof that the funds used to post 10 percent of the $100,000 bail amount came from reputable sources, and not stolen funds. 

The Sopkos are charged with embezzling just over $350,000 from the Palos Heights Fire Protection District. The crime is a Class X felony. Michelle Sopko was a part-time employee of the district during the alleged embezzlement scheme. Prosecutors say she deposited the stolen money into a joint bank account she shared with her husband, Oak Forest Dep. Fire Chief Charles Sopko

Read: Prosecutor Describes Palos Heights Fire Employee's 'Complicated Scheme to Embezzle'

John Ennis, who represents Michelle Sopko, and Jason Danielian, Charles Sopko's lawyer, said they would have to wait until the Cook County Sheriff's Office resumed transportation of prisoners. With temperatures expected to remain subzero tomorrow, when that will be is up in the frozen air. 

The courtroom of Judge Kerry Kennedy had a brisk atmosphere as cases were passed until imprisoned individuals could be taken to court. 

Read More on the Sopko Case
Roscoe January 06, 2014 at 10:16 PM
HA! I love it.

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