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Press Release

Senior Administrator for Dolton, Ill. And Thornton Township, Ill. Charged in Federal Court With Bankruptcy Fraud

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

CHICAGO — A senior administrator for both the Village of Dolton, Ill. and Thornton Township, Ill. has been charged in federal court with engaging in a bankruptcy fraud scheme involving the making of false statements in his bankruptcy petition to conceal from creditors his assets and sources of income and a significant claim against him.

An indictment returned Monday in U.S. District Court in Chicago charges KEITH DOUGLAS FREEMAN, 45, of Orland Park, Ill., with one count of bankruptcy fraud.  The charge is punishable by a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison.  Arraignment has not yet been scheduled. 

The indictment was announced by Morris Pasqual, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, Robert W. “Wes” Wheeler, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI, Justin Campbell, Special Agent-in-Charge of the IRS Criminal Investigation Chicago Field Office, and Ruth M. Mendonça, Inspector-in-Charge of the Chicago Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.  Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Trustee Program.  The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason A. Julien and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian P. Netols. 

The officials noted that Freeman was indicted as part of an ongoing federal investigation.

According to the indictment, Freeman on Jan. 3, 2024, filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Chicago.  The petition included a Schedules and Statement of Financial Affairs – a document in which the debtor is required to identify, among other things, all of his assets and sources of income, as well as any claims against him.  The indictment alleges that Freeman made several materially false statements and omissions in the document, including knowingly underreporting income he derived from his employment as both the Village Administrator for Dolton and the Municipality Manager for Thornton Township, as well as fees he received from his private consulting business.  Freeman also allegedly concealed that the Village of Robbins, Ill. had filed a claim against him related to approximately $90,396 that Freeman received in excess of his authorized salary while he was the Village Administrator for Robbins, a position he held from 2017 to 2021.

Freeman also furnished the Chapter 7 Trustee with a purported copy of his 2022 individual income tax return, which represented that Freeman’s total income from employment was $45,186.  The indictment states that Freeman knew he had not filed an income tax return for that year, and that his actual income, which included a $100,000 salary for the Dolton position alone, substantially exceeded that amount.

It was further part of the scheme that on Jan. 30, 2024, while testifying under oath at a meeting of creditors, Freeman falsely represented that he was not an employee of Dolton and that he did not receive payment from Dolton, the indictment states.  The following month, Freeman allegedly caused his pay from Dolton to be directly deposited into a recently opened bank account that he had not disclosed to the creditors or the Chapter 7 Trustee.

The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt.  The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines. 

Updated April 16, 2024

Financial Fraud