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Official in Chicago suburb indicted for bankruptcy fraud

Suburban Chicago official indicted for bankruptcy fraud
Suburban Chicago official indicted for bankruptcy fraud 00:37

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Dolton Village Administrator Keith Freeman has been indicted on federal bankruptcy fraud charges accusing him of falsifying his income in a bankruptcy filing earlier this year.

Freeman, 45, has been charged with one count of bankruptcy fraud, and faces up to five years in prison if convicted. His indictment comes as Dolton Mayor Tiffany Henyard also is facing misconduct allegations.

Freeman has been the Dolton Village Administrator since January 2022, and has been Thornton Township Manager since March 2022.

Federal prosecutors said Freeman filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in January and lied about his income as both Dolton Village Administrator and as Thornton Township Manager, as well as income from his private consulting business.

Prosecutors said Freeman's bankruptcy filing included a purported copy of his 2022 income tax return, which showed his total income was $45,186, when in reality he had not filed an income tax return for 2022, and his total gross income was approximately $140,000.

According to the indictment, Freeman also lied when he claimed his 2023 income totaled $99,647, when it actually totaled approximately $195,000.

Freeman also falsely claimed in his bankruptcy filing that he had assets totaling approximately $5,251 and total debts of $174,763 as of Jan. 3. According to the indictment, Freeman concealed that the Village of Robbins had filed a claim against him for $90,396 in unauthorized excess salary he was paid while he served as the Robbins Village Administrator from 2017 to 2021.

Freeman's first court appearance has not yet been scheduled.

The indictment comes a week after the Dolton Board of Trustees hired former Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot to investigate Dolton Mayor Tiffany Henyard amid claims Henyard misused public funds.

The Dolton mayor has been accused of misusing public funds while the village is millions of dollars in debt – including lavish personal spending, reportedly on the taxpayers' dime.

Lightfoot will be tasked with investigating those claims, and also a village employee's claims that she was sexually assaulted by a Dolton village trustee on a trip to Las Vegas – and then retaliated against. The employee claimed after she told the mayor about the lawsuit, she was eventually fired.

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