CHICAGO, IL â€“ Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced the former chief executive officer of a Naperville-based adoption agency was sentenced to four and a half years in prison and ordered to pay $100,000 in restitution for stealing charitable funds for personal use.
Robert Geniesse, 52, was sentenced today by Judge George Bakalis in DuPage County Criminal Court. Geniesse was found guilty of theft, personal use of charitable trust funds, wire fraud and forgery while he served as CEO of Our Childrenâ€™s Homestead.
While CEO of the charity, Geniesse was found to have used business credit cards for personal expenses in 2009 and 2010. Geniesse charged purchases to the charity, including expensive camera equipment, shopping trips to Neiman Marcus for cosmetics, home goods at Pottery Barn and Ethan Allen, a $600 trip to Binnyâ€™s Beverage Depot, and costly restaurant tabs, including a nearly $1,000 tab at Mortonâ€™s in Naperville. Geniesse also expensed lavish trips, including an outing to a Minnesota Vikings game, Chicago Bulls game, over $1,300 at Luxury Link in Los Angeles, and $3,800 in airline tickets overseas. None of the expenses were connected to his role as CEO of the organization.
â€œThe defendant betrayed the charitable mission of the organization he led, instead choosing to enrich himself and steal from his groupâ€™s donors and the families who rely on its services,â€ Madigan said.
Geniesse fled to Germany in 2012 following Madiganâ€™s indictment. He was convicted in an August bench trial after being extradited by the Federal Bureau of Investigation back to DuPage County.
Assistant Attorneys General Edward Snow and Albert Berry III and Associate Director James S. Dorger investigated and prosecuted the case for Madiganâ€™s office.