The former finance director of the DuSable Museum of African American History pleaded guilty Tuesday to embezzling $34,000 from the South Side museum.

Michael Carter, 48, admitted to U.S. District Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan that he authorized seven wire transfers to his personal bank account between September 2003 and December 2004.

According to charges filed last month, Carter forged the signature of the museum’s CEO instructing the bank to call Carter with questions about the money transfers.

The crime carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, but Der-Yeghiayan said the sentence mostly likely will be a prison term of 10 to 16 months. Carter also will be required to pay back the museum for the money he stole, according to his plea agreement.

Carter, who will be sentenced in January, readily admitted his guilt, Assistant U.S. Attorney April Perry said.

Carter worked for the museum from April 2000 until January of this year, according to his attorney, Samantha Engel. She said Carter may have had family considerations that led him to take the money, adding that Carter and the museum tried to resolve the situation internally.

“He was a great, well-liked employee by everyone there,” Engel said.

Carter had a repayment agreement in place with the museum and had already returned $2,000 when the FBI learned of the theft and became involved, according to Engel.

A representative from the museum referred questions to trustee Earl Moore, who could not be reached for comment.