U.S. Attorney's Office
Northern District of Illinois
(312) 353-5300
July 8, 2015

Marina Developer Sentenced to 60 Months in Federal Prison for Defrauding the Village of Riverdale of More Than $370,000

CHICAGO—A real estate developer who defrauded the Village of Riverdale of over $370,000 in public funds was sentenced today to 60 months in federal prison.

JOHN THOMAS, 52, of Chicago, owned and controlled Nosmo Kings LLC, which entered into an agreement with Riverdale to develop property along a marina in 2012. Only a portion of the funds were actually used for legitimate construction work. Thomas misappropriated $372,182 for his own personal use after creating and submitting fraudulent invoices for construction work that was never performed.

Thomas pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in May 2014. In addition to the five-year sentence, U.S. District Judge James B. Zagel ordered restitution of $372,182.

“John Thomas is a serial con man,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Sunil Harjani argued in the government’s sentencing memorandum. “Within months after release from probation from another federal conviction, the defendant set out to defraud the Village of Riverdale through the use of the village’s Tax Increment Financing program,” Harjani said.

Nosmo Kings entered into a TIF agreement with Riverdale in February 2012. Per the agreement, Thomas was required to submit documentation identifying completed construction expenses, including invoices and checks paid to vendors. Thomas created and submitted false invoices for non-existent companies and for companies that never performed work at the marina. For instance, one of the invoices requested reimbursement of $25,750 for construction supplies from a company that was actually a currency exchange to which Thomas owed money. Thomas used other TIF funds to pay personal expenses and the rent on his apartment.

The sentence was announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Robert J. Holley, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The government is being represented by Assistant United States Attorney Sunil Harjani.

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