A lawyer has been convicted on federal fraud charges for scheming to provide falsified documents to prevent foreclosure on a nearly $2 million parcel of land in Aurora, Ill., according to U.S. Attorney's Office officials.
The fraud left an elderly couple out of $300,000, according to a press release from the office.
A jury in Chicago federal court convicted Robert Schlyer, 47, of Portage, Ind., of two counts of wire fraud affecting a financial institution, and one count of bank fraud. U.S. District Judge Amy J. St. Eve set sentencing for Jan. 31, 2018. Each count carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.
Schlyer's fraud scheme occurred while representing two clients, co-schemers Kevin LeBeau of Aurora and Brian Bodei of Chicago, in connection with a foreclosure lawsuit. Prosecutors said that Schlyer provided false and fraudulent documents to an elderly couple and Amcore Bank in order to postpone foreclosure on the Aurora property.
According to evidence at trial, in 2004 Amcore Bank received a mortgage on the 10.4-acre property in Aurora after issuing a $1.9 million loan for the refinancing and redevelopment of the property, according to the release. Lebeau and Bodie executed a full personal guarantee for the loan. By the fall of 2005, Lebeau and Bodie had failed to make the required payments, the loan was in default, and the bank filed a foreclosure lawsuit to seize the property, the release stated.
During the scheme, Schlyer, who acted as Lebeau's and Bodie's attorney in the foreclosure suit, obtained $300,000 from an elderly retired couple by providing them with fake documents that made it seem like they were making a safe investment in the redevelopment and that it would be secured by a trust, according to the release.
Schlyer also claimed to be the trustee of the purported trust. In reality, there was no trust and Schlyer was not a trustee, the release stated. A portion of funds obtained from the elderly couple through the fraud was used to pay down the bank loan.
Together with the other two, Schlyer furnished fraudulent and fabricated documents to the bank, including forged documents that made it appear that investors had committed approximately $1.5 million to the redevelopment of the property, the release stated.
Eventually the foreclosure occurred, and the property was sold in 2010 at a significant loss to the bank.
LeBeau and Bodie were previously convicted in the case and are awaiting sentencing before U.S. District Judge Robert W. Gettleman.
Tribune Content Agency