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Grand Jury Supersedes Indictment To Chage Former Suburban Chicago Police Chief And Husband With Fraud Related To $1.25 Million Grant

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 6, 2012

Springfield, Ill. – The grand jury today superseded its indictment of Regina R. Evans, who previously served as police chief for Country Club Hills, Ill., to also charge her husband with defrauding a grant program administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO.) Today’s indictment charges both Regina, 49, and her husband, Ronald W. Evans Jr., 45, of Country Club Hills, Ill., with one count of mail fraud and two counts of money laundering related to their alleged fraudulent use of $1,250,000, which was awarded in 2009 under the Employment Opportunities Grant Program. According to the indictment, Ronald Evans was also employed with the Country Club Hills Police Department.

Regina Evans was previously charged with the offenses in an indictment returned in April 2012. A date for both defendants to appear for arraignment on today’s indictment has not been scheduled.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy A. Bass is prosecuting the case on behalf of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of Illinois. The ongoing investigation is being conducted by participating agencies of the Central District of Illinois’ U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Public Corruption Task Force including the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Chicago Division; the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations; the Illinois Secretary of State Office of Inspector General; and, the Illinois State Police Division of Internal Investigation. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Development is also cooperating in the investigation. Individuals who wish to provide information to law enforcement regarding matters of public corruption are urged to call the U.S. Attorney’s Office at 217-492-4450.

According to the superseding indictment, at the time of the alleged fraud, from February 2009 to June 2010, Regina and Ronald Evans owned various for-profit and not-for-profit entities, including the Prime Time Group, Inc., the Regal Theater, LLC., and We Are Our Brother’s Keeper (WAOBK.) In February 2009, on behalf of WAOBK, Evans and her husband applied for grant funding offered under the Employment Opportunities Grant Program. The grant agreement provided for an estimated 40 project participants to focus on bricklaying and electrical pre-apprenticeship training and GED preparation, and a project location at the Regal Theater. In September 2009, DCEO disbursed the $1,250,000 award for the two-year period, beginning on June 1, 2009, and ending on May 31, 2011.

In fact, according to the indictment, both Regina and Ronald Evans well knew that little, if any, of the EOGP training would be or was completed. Instead, the indictment alleges that the defendants concealed their true financial status and that of their various business interests from DCEO and their intent to use a substantial portion of the grant funds shortly after their disbursement for repayment of indebtedness, including delinquent mortgage indebtedness for the Regal Theater.

As further alleged in the indictment, the defendants failed to establish an accurate, current and complete disclosure of the financial results of the grant project and failed to cooperate with the DCEO in its grant monitoring process.

If convicted, the offense of mail fraud carries a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Each defendant is also charged with two counts of engaging in a money laundering transaction; for each offense, the maximum statutory penalty is up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 or up to twice the amount of the criminally derived property involved in the transaction, whichever is greater.

Members of the public are reminded that an indictment is merely an accusation; the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

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