Veteran cop is stripped of powers, charged with stealing $2K in email check scheme

Elise Middleton | CPD

Update January 30, 2022: Elise Middleton received a sentence of 24 months of second-chance probation and was ordered to pay $2,770 restitution by judge Neera Walsh, according to court records.

A 26-year veteran Chicago police officer has been stripped of her police powers and now faces felony charges for allegedly stealing about $2,000 in a check scheme, according to statements made during a bond court hearing Tuesday.

Elise Middleton, 53, has been a police officer in the Shakespeare (14th) District for her entire career, according to defense attorney Tim Grace. Shakespeare officers patrol neighborhoods like Wicker Park, Bucktown, Logan Square, and Humboldt Park.

Authorities, including CPD’s Bureau of Internal Affairs, launched an investigation after a Massachusetts resident fell victim to an email fraud scheme that resulted in her depositing $2,050 into Middleton’s personal bank account, prosecutors said Tuesday.

The alleged victim believed the deposit was part of the process to become an “ambassador” for a company, prosecutors said. Last August, the woman received a check from the company for $2,735, which she deposited. She then followed instructions to transfer $2,050 of it to Middleton’s account, according to prosecutors.

But the check was fake, and the company never authorized the payment or the search for “ambassadors,” according to the allegations. Before the fraud was discovered, Middleton withdrew the $2,050 from her bank in person on August 6, prosecutors said.

She is charged with wire fraud and theft.

Grace, the defense attorney, said Middleton worked as a Cook County sheriff’s deputy for four years before joining CPD in July 1995. He said she had been reassigned to a unit that takes police reports over the phone.

When asked how much Middleton could afford for bail, Grace told Judge Charles Beach, “She’s kind of strapped right now.”

Beach decided to release Middleton on her own recognizance and ordered her to surrender her passport.

City records show Middleton was paid $96,060 last year.

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