CHICAGO, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- The widow of the disgraced Chicago area police officer who looted a police youth group for his own enjoyment before killing himself was indicted Wednesday.
Melodie Gliniewicz, 51, was indicted and charged by a grand jury of four counts of disbursing charitable funds without authority for personal benefit and two counts of money laundering. If convicted, she could face up to seven years in prison.
Gliniewicz allegedly stole thousands of dollars from the Fox Lake Police Explorer Post that her late husband, Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz, led. The Explorer program teaches teens about law enforcement.
Gliniewicz's attorneys deny her knowledge of the source of the money.
"Melodie has suffered greatly over the past few months and continues to move her family forward after the emotionally traumatizing events of September 1, 2015," the attorneys said in statement. "Considering Melodie's cooperation with law enforcement, she is devastated by the decision to bring charges against her. Melodie is a victim of her husband's secret actions and looks forward to her day in court to show the world her innocence."
She turned herself in to the Lake County sheriff's office after the indictment was signed and was released on bail about three hours later.
Last fall, investigators found Fox Lake Police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz staged his suicide to look like a homicide in order to hide his years of embezzlement from the program. His wife Melodie held a fiduciary role in the group. The investigation found the officer had used Explorer money for hundreds of restaurant meals, personal entertainment, a luxury trip to Hawaii and porn. The officer also tried to hire a hitman to kill a city administrator involved in the investigation.