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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Central District of Illinois

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Former Countryside Police Chief, Kankakee County Sheriff’s Deputy Pleads Guilty To Mail Fraud,money Laundering, Tax Evasion

Urbana, Ill. -- Sentencing has been set for May 29, 2015, before Chief U.S. District Judge James E. Shadid, in Peoria, for Timothy J. Swanson, the former Chief of Police of Countryside, Ill., who later served as a deputy with the Kankakee County Sheriff’s Office. Today, Swanson, 56, of Bourbonnais, Ill., entered open pleas of guilty to two counts of mail fraud, one count of money laundering, two counts of tax evasion, and two counts of filing a false tax return, as announced by Jim Lewis, U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois. Swanson remains on bond pending sentencing.
During the change of plea proceeding today, before U.S. Magistrate Judge David G. Bernthal, the government provided the following factual basis to the Court in support of the defendant’s open plea of guilty to all seven charged counts in the indictment:

  • In 2005 and 2006, Swanson was employed as the City of Countryside, Illinois, Chief of Police. In 2009, the defendant left this position and joined the Kankakee County Sheriff’s Office.  During 2005 and 2006, Swanson obtained the use of two U.S. Department of Defense helicopters to be used for certain law enforcement activities.  To obtain funds to operate the helicopters, Swanson established the Illinois Regional Air Support Service (IRASS).  IRASS was a tax-exempt organization and no officer or director was to profit from its operation.
  • From at least 2005 through 2012, Swanson solicited police departments, corporations and individuals to make contributions to IRASS. From 2006 to 2010, Swanson used a credit card in the name of IRASS to make personal purchases in excess of $259,000, and used money donated or awarded to IRASS to make payments on the credit card. Swanson also used this money to purchase a business, Rotors & Wings, LLC., that Swanson operated.
  • The United States seeks $189,128 by way of a personal judgment against Swanson representing the amount of property involved in or traceable to the property involved with the offenses involving the IRASS.
  • Based on Swanson’s tax returns for 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010, Swanson should have paid additional income tax of $27,371 for 2007; $9,437 for 2008; $16,886 for 2009, and $1,446 for 2010.

Swanson faces up to 20 years in prison for each count of mail fraud (two counts) and money laundering (one count); up to five years in prison for each count of income tax evasion (two counts); and up to three years in prison for each count of filing a false income tax return (two counts). 

The charges are the result of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Defense, Defense Criminal Investigative Service; the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Office of Inspector General; and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugene L. Miller.

Updated June 22, 2015