Employee accused of stealing more than $70,000 from DeKalb business

SYCAMORE — A 46-year-old Naperville man is accused of embezzling more than $70,000 from his DeKalb employer over more than two years, court records show.

Joseph Lendino, of the first block of Alma Lane, was charged Monday with theft and  forgery. DeKalb police say he stole more than $70,000 using employees' names without their authorization on checks from Hearing Help Express, 105 N. First St., DeKalb, from April 2011 to July 2013.

"He had access to the funds," said Angel Reyes, DeKalb police detective. "They weren't aware of it because he controlled the funds."

If convicted of the more serious charge, Lendino could be sentenced to probation or between two and five years in prison. He is next due in court April 24.

Hearing Help Express leaders discovered the theft when they saw suspicious activity and reported it to police, Reyes said.

Authorities allege that Lendino wrote several checks in amounts ranging from less than $500 to $2,300 over a more than two-year period, court records show.

Lendino's attorney contacted First Assistant State's Attorney Duke Harris on Tuesday to ask if Lendino could surrender, Harris said.

Lendino's bond was reduced from $200,000 to $100,000 Wednesday because it seemed reasonable, Harris said. Lendino posted $10,000 bail and can remain free while the case is pending.

"He saved police from having to go find him," Harris said.