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Ex-County Board Chair Sorensen Reports To Prison Monday

Sorensen walks through courthouse
Ryan Denham
Former McLean County Board chair Matt Sorensen leaves the Dirksen federal courthouse in Chicago after his sentencing Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017.

Former McLean County Board chair Matt Sorensen is expected to report to federal prison Monday to begin serving his one-year sentence for defrauding State Farm and one of its consultants.

Sorensen was sentenced in September to one year and a day in prison, plus shared restitution with another defendant totaling $490,975. Sorensen pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in the scheme after being indicted in January 2016. The charges stunned Bloomington-Normal, in a case that ensnared one of the county’s top Republican leaders and its largest employer, State Farm.

"When he returns, Matt will continue to help others in the community as both a business consultant and through public service."

Sorensen worked as an internal consultant for State Farm, helping the Bloomington-based insurer decide which outside consultants to use. The other defendant, Navdeep Arora, worked for McKinsey & Company, the largest consulting firm in the world. Prosecutors say they engaged in a fraudulent billing scheme that lasted for at least three years, using a fake consulting company and fraudulent invoices to steal from State Farm and McKinsey. The scheme cost State Farm nearly $500,000.

Sorensen must report by 2 p.m. Monday to the federal prison in Marion in southern Illinois. It's a medium-security facility with an adjacent minimum-security satellite camp.

After he’s released in late 2018, Sorensen will be on probation for one year. Sorensen will also have to pay at least some of the $490,975 in restitution that he and Arora jointly owe to McKinsey. Sorensen will be required to make “monthly payments of a minimum of 10 percent of his net monthly income as directed by the probation office,” according to his sentence.

"The government is free to seek the restitution until it is paid from either Matt or Arora, or a combination of both," said Stuart Chanen, Sorensen's attorney. "Because Arora’s assets are far more extensive than Matt’s, the government is likely to start by pursuing his assets first."

Chanen sought leniency but said he was pleased with the "merciful sentence." He said Sorensen is eager to return to his family, friends, and community.

"When he returns, Matt will continue to help others in the community as both a business consultant and through public service, as he has always done, both before and after these matters came to light," he said.

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Ryan Denham is the digital content director for WGLT.
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