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Washington, Illinois Man Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Real Estate Development Companies

September 4, 2009

Peoria, Ill. – Sentencing has been scheduled in December 2009 for a Washington, Illinois man who today pled guilty to defrauding various real estate development companies. David L. Thornburg, 46, of Sommerset Court, waived indictment and entered a plea of guilty to an information charging him with one count of wire fraud.

According to the factual basis of the plea agreement and during court proceedings, Thornburg admitted that from about fall 2006 through at least February 2008, he embezzled funds for his personal use from various real estate development companies. The companies included Gallery Land Group LLC; Titanium Development Group Ltd; Titanium Investment Properties LLC; Panther Creek Development Group LLC; Gallery Homes of Washington LLC; and Mallard Crossing LLC. These companies were collectively engaged in various types of real estate business, including commercial and residential real estate development. Thornburg, by virtue of his ownership interests and management positions within the companies, had access to the companies’ various financial accounts and assets.

According to the terms of the plea agreement, the government and Thornburg have not reached a final determination regarding the total amount of loss to the companies beyond the amounts stipulated to by the parties in the factual basis of the plea agreement, a total of approximately $174,791. According to the plea agreement and during court proceedings, Thornburg admitted that he wrote checks or debited money from the companies’ checking accounts to his personal checking accounts; that he deposited certain checks payable by third parties to the companies to his personal accounts; and that he also deposited to his own accounts certain rent payments or rent-to-own payments that were due to two of the companies.

Sentencing is scheduled on December 18, 2009, before U.S. District Judge Joe B. McDade. The offense of wire fraud carries a statutory sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The defendant may also be ordered to pay restitution to victims of the offense.

The charge is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Secret Service, with cooperation by the Washington Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Greggory R. Walters.

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