CHICAGO (STMW) — Federal authorities gave long-time government mole John Thomas a Good Friday surprise, arresting him at his home early Friday morning, the Sun-Times is reporting.
Thomas, who was a major player in the investigation into political fundraiser Tony Rezko as well as former Ald. Ike Carothers — including wearing a wire to record conversations — allegedly stole $370,000 from the Village of Riverdale in tax increment financing funds connected to the development of Riverdale Marina.
A three-count indictment unsealed Friday alleges the real estate developer, 51, used the stolen taxpayers’ money to repay personal loans and debts, legal fees, rent and other personal expenses.
The money was meant to be used to renovate the Riverdale Marina, where Thomas’s business, Nosmo Kings LLC, kept an office.
But in 2012, Thomas created fake invoices for non-existent companies and for companies that never performed work at the marina in order to fraudulently obtain reimbursement from the village, it’s alleged.
Each of the three counts of wire fraud Thomas faces carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
He is expected to appear in federal court later Friday.
In 2010, Thomas escaped prison time and instead received three years’ probation in Chicago’s federal court for his role in a scheme tied to his days in New York.
In a 2008 interview with the Sun-Times, Thomas said his life had become “frantic” as he amassed hundreds of hours of recorded conversations for federal investigators while trying to maintain the real estate business he had built over time.
For a time, Thomas helped investigators build a record of repeat visits to the old offices of Rezko and former business partner Daniel Mahru’s Rezmar Corp., at 853 N. Elston, by then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
He worked to rebuild his reputation in the years that followed, though several high-profile deals he was involved with fell through.
In 2008, he told the Sun-Times he was was glad he was getting a second chance in Chicago, telling a reporter, the city “is a wonderful place to do this kind of business. It is the most forgiving.”
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2014. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)