Federal prosecutors in Chicago have indicted the chairman of the McLean County Board for defrauding State Farm and a consulting firm of more than $400,000 in unearned consulting fees.
Matt Sorensen and co-defendant Navdeep Arora are accused of billing clients for consulting work that never was done. The federal indictment was unsealed this week.
According to the indictment, Sorensen left State Farm three years ago and worked there as an internal consultant. The indictment says his job included determining whether to hire outside consultants, including the firm where Arora was a partner. The firm was hired by State Farm as a consultant.
Arora oversaw services that the firm provided to State Farm and worked on State Farm projects from 2003 to 2012, according to the indictment. Prosecutors say Arora and Sorensen used two companies called Gabriel Solutions and Andy’s BCB to defraud their employers of consulting fees for unperformed work.
Sorensen is accused of keeping nearly all of the $38,265 that the firm and State Farm paid to Andy’s BCB, and of taking about $370,000 of $452,710 billed by Gabriel Solutions.
The indictment also says Arora fraudulently obtained more than $400,000 from the firm, State Farm and other clients in travel and expense reimbursements.
State Farm spokesman Phil Supple said Tuesday that the company brought the matter to federal investigators in April 2012 and has “fully cooperated throughout the investigation.” He said State Farm hasn’t had a contractual relationship with the consulting firm since June 2012.
Sorensen is charged in the indictment with five counts of wire fraud. His arraignment is scheduled for Jan. 11 in Chicago.
Arora is charged with eight counts of wire fraud and was arrested Sunday at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Zachary T. Fardon’s office. He made an initial appearance in federal court in New York and was ordered detained pending further proceedings.
A message seeking comment was sent to an email address for Sorensen. A call to a phone number listed for him went unanswered.