According to the Chicago Tribune, Robert Geniesse, 52, of Chicago was sentenced to 4 ½ years of prison and ordered to pay $100,000 in restitution to the agency he helped found.  Our Children’s Homestead was founded in 1995 to help provide foster care and adoption services for special needs children and youth in Illinois, and had its beginnings in Geniesse’s basement. 

The AP reported that Geniesse was convicted of using agency funds for personal expenses and travel as well as spending thousands to finance a short film about adoption.  Per the Chicago Tribune, Geniesse admitted to handling finances poorly and stated, “I was an over-ambitious, impulsive CEO.”

Geniesse’s attorney, Joseph Solon, says that he should qualify to carry out his sentence on probation, having had a spotless record before this came to light.  ”He’s guilty of something we’re all guilty of, and that’s human frailty.”