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Press Release

Champaign Real Estate Developer Pleads Guilty to Bank Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Central District of Illinois

Urbana, Ill. - A Champaign, Ill., real estate developer, Gene T. Hardwick, 73, entered a plea of guilty yesterday to a single count of bank fraud related to a $3.9 million bank loan he received in 2007.

Hardwick obtained the bank loan to construct a 64-unit apartment building in Champaign. After receiving the loan, Hardwick admitted that he used some of the loan proceeds to purchase the lot, at 611 East Park Street, but diverted other loan proceeds to personal expenses. During yesterday’s court proceedings, the government advised the court that these personal expenses included a trip to France and multiple credit card payments.

The fraud was discovered when a FDIC examiner drove to 611 East Park Street in Champaign to inspect the building and discovered an empty lot. At the time the FDIC examiner discovered the fraud, the amount loaned was approximately $2.4 million.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, the defendant has agreed to continue to make restitution payments to the bank and may be imprisoned for up to two years. Hardwick is scheduled for sentencing before U.S. District Judge Colin S. Bruce on Aug. 22, 2016.

The FDIC Inspector General’s Office conducted the investigation; Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason M. Bohm is prosecuting the case.

Updated April 19, 2016

Financial Fraud