Former Clerk for Chicago Transit Authority Retirement Plan Sentenced to a Year in Prison for Fraudulently Obtaining $356,000 in Plan Funds
CHICAGO — A federal jury in Chicago has convicted a Grundy County, Ill. businessman of scheming to fraudulently raise at least $130 million from more than 500 investors.
KENNETH D. COURTRIGHT, 53, of Minooka, Ill., was convicted Friday on all seven wire fraud counts against him. Each count is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison. U.S. District Judge Matthew F. Kennelly set sentencing for Oct. 4, 2023, at 1:15 p.m.
Evidence at the two-week trial in U.S. District Court in Chicago revealed that Courtright owned and operated Today’s Growth Consultant, Inc., a Minooka, Ill.-based company that did business under the name The Income Store. The company purported to build or acquire websites for investors. From 2015 to 2019, Courtright schemed to defraud investors by falsely promising to provide them with a guaranteed income stream of either 50% of the advertising revenue generated by the websites or the monthly equivalent of at least 15% of the investor’s upfront fee. Courtright backed these guarantees through fraudulent claims that his company was financially healthy. In reality, the payment of returns to investors was primarily funded through money raised from new investors.
The conviction was announced by Morris Pasqual, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Robert W. “Wes” Wheeler, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jason Yonan and Adam Rosenbloom.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission provided valuable assistance.