Peoria, Ill. - Chief U.S. District Judge James E. Shadid today sentenced Timothy J. Swanson, former Countryside Chief of Police and deputy with the Kankakee County Sheriff’s Office, to prison. Swanson, 56, of Bourbonnais, Ill., was ordered to serve 27 months in federal prison, to be followed by a three-year term of supervised release. Swanson was ordered to pay restitution to victims in the amount of $229,128 as well as $55,140 in back taxes. Swanson was ordered to report on Aug. 11, 2015, to the federal Bureau of Prisons to begin serving his sentence.
On Jan. 27, 2015, Swanson entered open pleas of guilty to all seven charged counts in the indictment: two counts of mail fraud, one count of money laundering, two counts of tax evasion, and two counts of filing a false tax return. During the change of plea proceeding, the government provided the following factual basis to the Court in support of the defendant’s open plea of guilty:
Swanson was employed as the City of Countryside, Ill., Chief of Police in 2005 and 2006. After leaving the police department, in 2009, Swanson 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 law enforcement activities. To obtain funds to operate the helicopters, Swanson established the Illinois Regional Air Support Service (IRASS) as a tax-exempt organization. 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 and used money donated or awarded to IRASS to make payments on the credit card. Swanson also used this money to purchase Rotors & Wings, LLC., a business that he operated.
The charges resulted from 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 Division. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugene L. Miller.