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This is The Players, your update on who's who in Illinois politics and what they're up to. We encourage you to comment on Illinois leadership.Amanda Vinicky curates this blog that will provide follow-up to full-length stories, links to other reports of interest, statistics, and conversations with you about the issues and stories.

Lobbying Firm Employee Pleads Guilty To Embezzling

Hotel rooms.


A visit to the spa.  


Alas, not my "to do" list (a visit to the spa? I wish! Though I do actually need to buy some groceries ...); that was what Alice Foss, a 53-year-old Springfield woman, admitted to buying with the $400,000 she'd embezzled from her employer, the lobbying and consulting firm Don Moss and Associates. 

I realize that the natural inclination for many of you may not be to feel empathy for a lobbyist. While Illinois doesn't require government relations firms disclose the fees they're paid to peddle/sway/entertain/inform lawmakers, it's imaginable that many rake in enough that fraudulent bonus checks like the $144,852 Foss admitted to writing to herself could possibly go unnoticed. I'd venture, though, that Don Moss and Associates isn't at the vanguard of that camp. 

The Secretary of State's lobbyist registration lists Moss as having no contracts, no sub-clients; merely that its his intent to lobby to "improve program and services for people with disabilities and increase reimbursement rates to provide such services."

It is while ostensibly working on behalf of the disabled from May 1997 to October 2009 that, as Moss's Chief Financial Officer, Foss used the firm's business account to pay for personal expenses -- including but not limited to those spa visits and groceries.

After prosecutors presented three days of evidence in U.S. Central District Court, Foss entered her guilty plea. As part of the deal, the government has agreed to recommend a sentence of no more than four years and nine months, along with restitution.

Amanda Vinicky moved to Chicago Tonight on WTTW-TV PBS in 2017.
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