SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — A former Lincoln Lane Community College employee has been sentenced to more than two years in prison for taking almost $700,000 from the college.

The State Journal-Register reports (http://bit.ly/2rHQTG2 ) 47-year-old John Martinez pleaded guilty in February to taking the money over a seven-year period and using it for personal expenses, including travel and alcohol.

U.S. District Judge Sue Myerscough on Friday sentenced the Springfield resident to two years, five months in prison.

Martinez worked on the college’s telephone system.

Authorities say he admitted to forging supervisors’ signatures to authorize expenditures, causing the college to issue checks to fake vendors.

He would remove some checks from the mailroom before they were sent.

Some of the checks were written to vendors who were his friends. They would deposit them, keep a portion, then give cash to Martinez.

Information from: The State Journal-Register, http://www.sj-r.com