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Glenview Restaurant Bookkeeper Charged With Embezzlement

GLENVIEW, Ill. (CBS) -- A former waitress trusted by the family that owns the popular Hackney's restaurants in Glenview is charged with embezzling more than $186,000 over a two-year period from one of the restaurants.

Shawn Dragman, 52, of the 800 block of Glendale Road in Glenview, was charged March 18 with one felony count of theft after Glenview detectives concluded a six-month investigation. Dragman worked in the Hackney's location at 1241 Harms Rd.

"It is very tough on us, for sure," said Jane Blair, one of the managers of Hackney's on Harms and a member of the Masterson family that owns the Hackney's chain. "All we can say is it will all come out when she goes to court."

Dragman began working for Hackney's as a waitress about 25 years ago and progressed to a part-time bookkeeper for Hackney's on Harms. As such, she had signature authority on the restaurant's bank accounts and she prepared and issued checks to vendors, according to documents presented at her bond hearing by the Cook County State's Attorney's office.

Beginning in July 2008, Dragman took an amount of cash from the restaurant's daily deposits and deposited a Hackney's check in the same amount in the account, according to Assistant State's Attorney Karyn Stratton. In that way, Hackney's own checks were making up much of the deposit, but went unnoticed because the bank does not send customers copies of their deposit tickets or the checks that make up deposits.

In August 2010, the bank sent a correction notice to the restaurant with a copy of a check enclosed. The office manager noticed it was one of the restaurant's own checks, which led to an internal and then criminal investigation.

Dragman was arrested by Glenview police March 17 at a Northfield shopping center. Bond was set $50,000 pending an April 8 court date in Skokie.

The Hackney's restaurant chain has been in business since 1939, and operates two Glenview restaurants, as well as locations in the city and several other suburbs.

Pioneer Press contributed to this report, via the Sun-Times Media Wire

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