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Opera Employee Stole More Than $100,000: Police

(CBS) -- The former box office manager of the Chicago Opera Theater has been charged with stealing more than $100,000 in ticket receipts during the three-plus years he worked for the organization, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

Brian Gore, 36, was arrested Wednesday in the 200 block of West Jackson, and charged with one felony count of theft/unauthorized control of over $100,000, according to Chicago Police.

He appeared in court Thursday and Judge Mary Marubio ordered him held on a $10,000 bond, according to Cook County state's attorney's office spokeswoman Tandra Simonton.

A representative of the COT reported that a former employee had been processing credit card ticket payments, then marking them as complimentary and diverting the money to a personal account, police said. The alleged thefts went on from September 2014 through May 2016, according to police.

Gore, who lives in the North Side Lincoln Square neighborhood, worked as box office manager for the COT for 3 1/2 years until leaving in May 2016, according to Doug Clayton, general director of COT.

The missing funds were discovered when the company reorganized its staff and box office a year ago, and realized many more complimentary tickets than reasonable had been recorded, Clayton said.

It appears Gore took ticket buyers' credit card information and routed the payments to a personal account, he said.

The performances involved took place primarily at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance. The company now produces most of its work at The Studebaker Theater, where Gian Carlo Menotti's "The Consul" is now running.

Clayton said COT hopes to recover some of the money, although that will depend on Gore's assets. COT's annual budget is about $2.5 million.

Gore is next scheduled to appear in court at 11:30 a.m. Nov. 29 in Branch 98 at the Leighton Criminal Court Building at 2600 S. California, Simonton said.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire copy; Chicago Sun-Times 2017. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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