PEORIA (WEEK) -- The former national president of Project Linus, that was once headquarted in Bloomington, has been sentenced to 30 months in prison for stealing from the not-for-profit organization.
Carol Babbit, 61, was also ordered to pay $410,250 in restitution to Project Linus and $7,856 to the Illinois Department of Revenue, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Central District of Illinois
Project Linus provides handmade blankets for children who are seriously ill, traumatized or in need.
Babbit, according to the press release, entered guilty pleas to all counts of the indictment, which charged her with five counts of mail fraud, eight counts of wire fraud, and five counts of money laundering.
Babbitt was ordered to report to the federal Bureau of Prisons on May 11 to begin serving her prison term.
Babbitt served as the organization’s national president, from 2000 to 2016, when Babbitt and the charity’s headquarters were in Bloomington. In that capacity, she controlled the charity’s operations, including its bank accounts.
In 2010, Babbitt began using Project Linus credit cards to pay for personal expenses, including clothing, electronics, pet grooming, furniture, tickets for sporting events, and personal travel. Babbitt used the charity’s funds to make credit card payments, and falsely classified the expenditure in the business ledger to hide her personal use of the funds.
In addition, Babbitt filed false and fraudulent personal tax returns with the state of Illinois in which she failed to report the funds she stole from Project Linus.