Monday, June 29, 2015

Illinois AG (Finally?) Pinches Former Head Of Chicago-Based Charity For Allegedly Stealing Funds Intended To Help Low-Income Homeowners Avoid Foreclosure; Criminal Charges Come Almost Three Years After State Filed Civil Suit Suspecting Same Defendant Of Pocketing $350K+ From Same Non-Profit, Blowing Over $200K Of It In Casinos

From the Office of the Illinois Attorney General:
  • Attorney General Lisa Madigan [] announced charges against the former executive director of a Chicago-based charity for stealing funds of a charitable organization that was created to help low-income families avoid foreclosure.

    Rudolph Harper, 63, of Chicago, was charged in Cook County Criminal Court with one count of theft over $100,000 and one count of personal use of charitable trust funds. Madigan alleges that as executive director of Organization of New City, Harper used thousands of dollars of the charity’s donations for personal gain. Organization of New City was created to help low-income homeowners stay current on their mortgages to help avoid foreclosure.(1)

    “The defendant betrayed the charitable mission of this organization, allegedly choosing to enrich himself by stealing from donors who made contributions and the families who rely on the organization’s services,” Madigan said.
For the Illinois AG press release, see Madigan Charges Former Charity Head For Stealing Funds Donated To Help Homeowners Avoid Foreclosure.

(1) The Illinois Attorney General's office made similar allegations in an August, 2012 civil lawsuit it brought against Harper. See Charity's Boss Had Sticky Fingers, AG Says:
  • The director of a Chicago-based charity appears to have spent more than $350,000 in contributions on himself, including more than $200,000 from ATMs at casinos or in direct payments to casinos, the Illinois attorney general says. Illinois sued the Organization of New City and its executive director Rudolph Harper, in Cook County Court.
For the civil suit itself, see People v. Organization of New City and Rudolph Harper.

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