CHICAGO (STMW) – The “Swine Flu Bandit” was a Bank of America employee, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.
Matthew Mahoney, whose father is a hired killer and mother is a Chicago cop, was nabbed by the FBI on Nov. 10 as he peered through a South Loop bank window.
LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya Reports
Mahoney was armed with a handgun and matched the description of the Swine Flu Bandit, a suspect in nine bank holdups in which the robber wore a mask and said he was suffering from swine flu, according to the FBI. The robber pointed a gun and threatened to kill a bank employee in at least one heist, prosecutors said.
Mahoney, whose back was injured in a car wreck, was on leave from Bank of America in Seattle. He previously worked for Chase Bank here, officials said.
Mahoney, 28, is charged in the Nov. 6 robbery of a Chase branch at 550 S. Dearborn St. He relied on his banking know-how in his holdups, prosecutors said. The FBI found $224,000 inside a safe in a South Side home where he was staying, officials said.
In an odd twist, Mahoney testified earlier this year as a witness in a bank-robbery trial. He was working at the bank when it was held up.
On Tuesday, prosecutors asked Judge Jeffrey Gilbert to order Mahoney–a heroin addict–held without bond. “This is a dangerous man, your honor,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Stetler said.
But Mahoney’s lawyer Susan Shatz asked the judge to put him on electronic monitoring in the custody of his mother and grandfather, who agreed to put up their home in South Side Canaryville for his bail. Gilbert continued the hearing to next week.
In 2004, Mahoney’s father, Dennis McArdle, pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to 35 years in prison. He said he was hired by Daniel Bowen to kill Bowen’s wife. Bowen was found hanged in jail and his death was ruled a suicide.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)