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December 16, 2015

Former Field Museum Worker Charged in Alleged $900,000 Theft

A longtime employee of Field Museum was charged with embezzlement Tuesday, days after the Chicago institution revealed a more than $900,000 fund diversion, the Chicago Sun-Times writes. Caryn Benson, 38, of Romeoville, Ill., was charged with stealing $33,014 in a one-count court filing by federal authorities, which Crain's Chicago Business says could indicate that a plea bargain is in the works.

Charging documents do not name the museum, identifying the victim only as a "not-for-profit civic institution" in Chicago. Ms. Benson worked from September 2003 to April 2014 at the Field, which disclosed the loss of $903,284 earlier this month in a Form 990 filing for 2014. The museum has not named a culprit but has said an employee was fired in April 2014 after allegedly stealing for seven years by keeping payments collected from museum visitors who signed up for memberships at the door.