Thursday, December 23, 2010

12232010 - News Article - Indicted businessman to get $35K from city



Indicted businessman to get $35K from city
Post-Tribune (IN)
December 23, 2010
GARY -- A local janitorial business owned by a man facing federal fraud charges will receive nearly $35,000 from the city for work it performed early this year, but the terms of the deal were confirmed only Wednesday. 

That compensation for Dynamic Janitorial Services will be added to contracts already worth $175,000 total for work done in 2009, and records show current contracts with the company totaling $147,475 last until February. 

Gary's Board of Public Works and Safety endorsed two amendments to Dynamic's 2009 contracts to clean up the City Hall Annex, at 839 Broadway, and the Adam Benjamin Metro Center. 

State records show the president of Dynamic Janitorial is Jerry Haymon, who is charged with wire fraud in an indictment unsealed in October. Community Development Director Jacquelyn Drago - Hunter , reserve police officer Phillip Rucker and mortgage broker Sheila Chandler are co-defendants in the case. 

Although the contracts expired at the end of 2009, Wednesday's changes extend them retroactively until the end of February 2010 and add a combined maximum payment of $34,686. 

"The contractor performed the services," City Attorney Carl Jones said. 

Dynamic's current contracts to work at those buildings began in March and last until February 2011, officials said. 

Jones said the changes to the old contracts weren't approved until Wednesday because of recent confusion over payments due to Dynamic Janitorial. Jones said compensation for work done in January and February shouldn't fall under the terms of the current contracts. 

No contract existed at the time, Jones said, because of a delay in receiving bids. 

Haymon's not-for-profit Coalition of Concern previously received $75,000 from the Gary City Council, and Haymon has said he used it to renovate a home in the 4000 block of Tennessee Street. 

In this fall's indictment, a federal grand jury said that home and others were sold under fraudulent terms. It said Haymon and his co-defendants pocketed the profits of the bogus sales. 

Haymon and his co-defendants have all pleaded not guilty. A trial has been scheduled for August. 



Fed charges relate to nonprofit Haymon operates.

Friday, November 26, 2010

11262010 - News Article - How far they've fallen - ROBERT CANTRELL



How far they've fallen
Decatur Daily Democrat (IN)
November 26, 2010
A federal appeals court recently unanimously rejected a Lake County political insider's appeal of his fraud conviction and a six-year sentence he is currrently serving.

Robert Cantrell's request for a rehearing among the three-judge panel and his request for a hearing before all the appellate judges was denied. The court rejected his earlier appeal in August.

Cantrell - a onetime Republican chairman in East Chicago - was convicted in 2008 on 11 counts of fraud and fraud-related charges alleging that he steered contracts to a third party in exchange for kickbacks. He was also convicted of filing false income tax returns and insurance fraud.

Longtime basketball fans may remember Bobby Cantrell as a member of East Chicago Washington High School's 1960 state champion basketball team, a Trester Award winner and starting guard on the University of Michigan's 1964 Final Four team, Surprise!

Friday, November 19, 2010

11192010 - News Article - Cantrell request for rehearing of appeallate case denied, conviction upheld - ROBERT CANTRELL



Cantrell request for rehearing of appeallate case denied, conviction upheld
NWI Times
Nov 19, 2010
nwitimes.com/news/local/lake/cantrell-request-for-rehearing-of-appeallate-case-denied-conviction-upheld/article_06909f65-e750-5778-8463-673389c1b2f6.html

Appellate judges denied a motion for rehearing in the appeal of a longtime region politician Robert Cantrell, who was sentenced to more than six years in prison for fraud, according to federal court filings Thursday.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago denied both the request for a rehearing among the three-judge panel who rejected Cantrell's appeal in August, and the request for an en banc hearing before all the appellate judges. According to court records, it was a unanimous decision among the judges.

Cantrell's Chicago-based attorney, Daniel Rubinstein, filed a request for rehearing within weeks of the judges denying the appeal, asking them to vacate Cantrell's convictions of honest services fraud. In the filing, Rubinstein claimed the appellate panel opinion conflicted with the Supreme Court's recent ruling that limited the scope of honest services fraud to cases involving bribery and kickbacks.

In Cantrell's case, the appeals court ruled his actions met the qualifications.

"By failing to fairly, honestly and candidly award contracts, Cantrell defrauded North Township and its citizens of their right to his honest services," Evans wrote in the appellate decision. "This was clearly a kickback scheme."

Rubinstein declined comment Thursday.

Cantrell, who is now close to 70 years old, had been active in local politics. In addition to his work as a teacher and politician, Cantrell had been a basketball star at the University of Michigan and a decorated war veteran.

"Unfortunately, during the past decade Cantrell also got into some serious trouble," wrote Circuit Judge Terence T. Evans in the appellate decision.

A jury found Cantrell guilty on 11 counts of fraud and fraud-related charges in 2008.

He was convicted of using his position as a public official to steer contracts to a third party in exchange for kickbacks. The jury also found him guilty of filing false income tax returns and insurance fraud, where he "deceptively" obtained coverage for two of his children. Cantrell was ordered to repay the $68,000 he took from North Township through contract fraud, according to court records.

Cantrell's son and local attorney, John Cantrell, did not respond to requests for comment.

Bryan Truitt, a Valparaiso-based attorney who had represented Cantrell in the original case and appeal, said he thought a new trial was in order because jurors could not be instructed on the Supreme Court honest services ruling that came out years after the trial.

"I feel bad for Bob, Barbara and the children because I firmly believe this is injust," Truitt said. "These are too good of people with too many good works on their behalf to have this result."

11192010 - News Article - Cantrell's appeals apparently run out - ROBERT CANTRELL



Cantrell's appeals apparently run out
Post-Tribune (IN)
November 19, 2010
Former North Calumet Township Trustee Robert Cantrell will not get another chance to argue his case before the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The appeals court had already turned down his appeal in August, siding with a federal jury who found him guilty of receiving kickbacks from an addictions program in exchange for giving the program one of the township's contracts.

Cantrell, 69, then filed to have another hearing, arguing that the appeals court decision went against a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling. That decision said honest services charges could only be pressed when someone had received a kickback or a bribe.

U.S. prosecutors argued that evidence showed Cantrell had indeed received a kickback. 

However, Cantrell argued the conviction was based on undisclosed self-dealing and conflict of interest, both of which the U.S. Supreme Court said could 

no longer be part of honest service fraud charges.The motion says the federal government argued Cantrell didn't publicize he had made a profit from a government contract, which is allowed, and that U.S. District Judge Rudy Lozano did not tell the jury the government had to prove Cantrell had received a kickback or bribe.

The appeals court ruled against a new hearing, though, according to an order filed last week. It did not offer an explanation of the finding.

Cantrell is serving a six-year prison sentence for his conviction and is scheduled to be released January 2015.

His attorney Daniel Rubinstein said he had no comment and would not say if he planned on filing any other motion in the case.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

11092010 - News Article - Clay defends visits by convicted friend



Clay defends visits by convicted friend
Post-Tribune (IN)
November 9, 2010 

GARY -- Mayor Rudy Clay defends frequent visits by convicted businessman Roosevelt Powell to City Hall's executive offices, saying the red carpet is out "for anybody who wants to visit me." 

"I'm certainly not going to turn away my friend," Clay said. 

A federal jury convicted Powell, a former Lake County tax collector, in 2007 for his role in a fraudulent scheme to use the Gary Historical Society's tax-exempt status to pocket $150,000. Also convicted were Lake County Councilman Will Smith and attorney Willie Harris. 

He was released from prison in May after serving his sentence, and since then has been seen repeatedly in City Hall's mayoral suite. Attempts to reach him since Clay made his comments have been unsuccessful. The mayor said Powell is helping him with his 2011 re-election campaign. 

Clay also said anyone can visit him in his City Hall offices. 

"I'm not a fair-weather friend," Clay said. "He's not on the city payroll. He does not influence city policy, and he does not have a city contract." 

Clay has been steadfast in his defense of Powell ever since Powell's indictment four years ago, saying the businessman "is one of my two closest friends in the world." 

But he's not the only person around City Hall Clay finds himself defending these days. City attorney Carl Jones was convicted last week of trafficking with an inmate, a Class A misdemeanor. Jones said during his trial a vendetta by a Lake County deputy prosecutor led to the charges. 

Clay likened the crime last week to running a red light. 

"It doesn't mean anything as far as his job is concerned," Clay said. "All it is is a misdemeanor." 

And Community Development Director Jacquelyn Drago - Hunter was indicted by a federal grand jury last month on charges of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. The grand jury didn't say she mismanaged tax money, and Clay said he's keeping her in charge of millions in stimulus dollars handled by her department. Drago - Hunter pleaded not guilty, but she has declined to comment otherwise. After the indictment was unsealed, Clay said she "is a great God-fearing person from a great God-fearing family." 

"She's keeping her job," he said. 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

11072010 - News Article - The same day four federal grand jury indictments came down on



The same day four federal grand jury indictments came down on
The same day four federal grand jury indictments came down on Oct. 21, the Gary Police Department suspended Phillip Rucker, an unpaid reserve police officer. 

Yet another indicted city worker, Jacquelyn Drago - Hunter , continues to serve the city and oversee millions of dollars as its Community Development director. 

Drago - Hunter should step down from her City Hall post until the accusations are substantiated or refuted. She is facing two counts of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme that federal authorities say enabled her and three others to pocket $301,247. 

She is indeed innocent until proven guilty, but she's also tainted as a public official. Whether anyone in the city can admit it or not, having her around doesn't enhance the perception and reputation of the city. 

Instead of issuing a suspension, Mayor Rudy Clay blindly stands behind Drago - Hunter , calling her "a God-fearing person from a God-fearing family." 

At least Clay said something. 

The rest of Northwest Indiana's political establishment is ignoring the latest round of embarrassing federal charges. The silence on the part of elected officials is bewildering, given President Obama's position on the need for transparency and clean government in regard to the disbursement of federal funds. 

Last week in Gary, Ron Sims, the deputy secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, reiterated Obama's position on federal money going to communities that are good 
stewards of the money. Was anyone listening? 

Drago-Hunter is drawing a salary and watching over a federal pot of cash for Clay in the Community Development Department, and City Council members aren't speaking out. As long as it's business as usual in Gary, the federal government shouldn't entrust the city with a dime. 

Drago-Hunter should step aside for now.

Friday, October 29, 2010

10292010 - News Article - Gary official, reserve cop plead not guilty



Gary official, reserve cop plead not guilty 
Post Tribune
October 29, 2010
The director of Gary Community Development and a reserve Gary police officer pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges connected to a $300,000 mortgage fraud scheme. 

Jacquelyn Drago - Hunter , 60, director of the GCD, and Philip Rucker, 39, were charged last week in the U.S. District Court in Hammond along with Jerry Haymon and Sheila Chandler, a Schererville mortgage broker, of running a scheme that took in money from housing loans for work that Haymon's company, Priced Right Construction and Management LLC, had supposedly done on houses. 

According to the federal indictment, Haymon and others would convince people to let them help sell their properties. Haymon and others would then find people to buy the homes for more than the asking price, according to the indictment. He and others would then use the difference in the asking and payment prices to pay off liens that Haymon had filed against the homes, for renovation work done to the houses, prosecutors claim in records. 

Drago - Hunter , who is listed as owning Maximilian Title, is accused in the indictment of preparing false HUD-1 settlement statements and giving the loan money to Haymon. Rucker, who has been suspended from his duties as a reserve officer, is accused of recruiting one of the buyers and taking a kickback. 

Haymon was arraigned last week and pleaded not guilty. Chandler, who is charged in a separate but similar mortgage fraud scheme, has not yet appeared in court on the new charges. 

Drago - Hunter , wearing a black cape, spoke quietly and stumbled over some of her words as she answered U.S. Magistrate Andrew Rodovich's questions about her education and the indictment charging her with two counts of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. Neither she nor her attorney, Kerry Connor, would comment on the case after the hearing. 

Drago - Hunter oversees federal stimulus funds and other money for Gary in her position with the GCD. Mayor Rudy Clay has said he supports her and won't ask her to step aside pend 

ing the outcome of the case.Rucker pleaded not guilty to two counts of wire fraud. 



A status case has been scheduled for Dec. 7, when all sides will discuss scheduling a trial date, Rodovich said. Assistant U.S. Attorney Gary Bell said he expects the case to last a little longer than a week. 

10292010 - News Article - Defendants accused of taking housing loan funds - Jacquelyn Drago-Hunter (left) walks out of court with her lawyer



Defendants accused of taking housing loan funds 
Jacquelyn Drago - Hunter (left) walks out of court with her lawyer
Post-Tribune (IN)
October 29, 2010 


Jacquelyn Drago - Hunter (left) walks out of court with her lawyer, Kerry Connor, after Drago - Hunter 's arraignment hearing where she pleaded not guilty to charges of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft Thursday at the Federal Courthouse in Hammond. 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

10282010 - News Article - Second subpoena delivered



Second subpoena delivered 
Post-Tribune (IN)
October 28, 2010 

GARY -- A probe of money spent on Gary's downtown Dalton Arms building continued this week when a federal agent dropped off a subpoena at the Gary-East Chicago-Hammond Empowerment Zone, an official said. 

Scott Upshaw, the agency's director, said a Merrillville-based agent delivered the subpoena Monday. Upshaw said it seeks all records related to a $2.5 million loan from the Empowerment Zone to Gary Progress Development. 

That loan, Upshaw said, was granted in June 2008. 

"We're making sure that we give them everything," Upshaw said. 

Gary City Hall received a similar subpoena in late September, its city attorney has said. That request came from agents based in South Bend, who sought records related to a $2.9 million loan from the city's community development office to Gary Progress Development. 

City Attorney Carl Jones said Gary turned over documents dated between 2003 and 2007, when the transaction took place. 

The loan preceded the hiring of Jacquelyn Drago - Hunter , Gary's current director of community development. She accepted her job there in 2008 and now faces federal fraud charges in an unrelated case. 

Gary Progress Development's Shawn Loyden, who is based in Florida, said last week he didn't know about the subpoena at City Hall until he read about it in the newspaper. 

However, he and the Mishawaka-based Sterling Group of Companies said they are continuing their work to renovate the dilapidated high-rise. 

Sterling Group partnered with Gary Progress Development this summer under the name Dalton Apartments LLC. It was recruited by a state agency that is directing $9.4 million in tax credits to fund the project. 

Lance Swank, Sterling's chief operating officer, said his company is cooperating with the federal probe. 

"We've been assured that this has nothing to do with the current activities," Swank said. "There are no issues concerning future funding." 

Developers, including Loyden, have promised to fix up the building since the mid-1990s. The project languished until this summer's deal was struck by Loyden and Sterling Group. Now, crews have been working there on a regular basis.Plans call for a 57-unit apartment building with retail on the ground floor. The new agreement gives the developers until Sept. 30, 2011, to finish their work. 

Probe continues into Dalton Arms spending.



The Dalton Arms project has been on and off for years. -- andy lavalley/post-tribune file photo 

10282010 - News Article - Grimes wants Clay to suspend Drago-Hunter



Grimes wants Clay to suspend Drago-Hunter 
Post-Tribune (IN)
October 28, 2010 

GARY -- Doug Grimes, Republican candidate for county prosecutor, wants Mayor Rudy Clay to suspend his city's community development director with pay, but Clay is standing behind Jacquelyn Drago-Hunter. 

"Right now, she's keeping her job," Clay said. 

Drago-Hunter declined to comment when reached by the Post-Tribune Wednesday. A federal grand jury charged her with wire fraud and aggravated identity theft in an indictment unsealed last week. 

Jerry Haymon, Phillip Rucker and Sheila Chandler also face fraud charges. 

Earlier this week, Clay called Drago-Hunter "a great God-fearing person from a great God-fearing family." He wouldn't say until Wednesday, though, whether she would keep her position. 

She manages millions in federal dollars as community development director, including federal stimulus money from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

That, Grimes said, is why Drago-Hunter should keep her income but be placed on administrative leave. 

"Clay has a responsibility to protect the welfare and assets of the city of Gary," Grimes said in a news release, "and granting her a leave of absence with pay would provide for that protection." 

Grimes is a regular critic of Clay's administration. He was one of the leaders behind a lawsuit that last year voided an initial private contract for trash collection. He is on the Nov. 2 ballot opposite Democratic incumbent Bernard Carter. 

Drago-Hunter isn't accused of mishandling the money that came through her office. Instead the grand jury said she falsified HUD-1 settlement statements, and possibly signatures, during private transactions to illegally direct money into bank accounts controlled by her and her co-defendants. 

Grimes also said he will encourage the Indiana General Assembly to pass a law that would have 

forced Clay's hand in the matter. He said the law should force public officials charged with a felony to take a paid leave of absence if their alleged crimes involve public funds.One house where Haymon is accused of committing the scheme is 4028 Tennessee St. 

Haymon has previously said he used tax money directed to him by City Councilman Ronier Scott to fix up that house. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

10262010 - News Article - $300,000 Real estate fraud scheme



3617 johnson st.
3617 johnson st. 
3758 buchanan st. 
4028 tennessee st. 
3829 CONNECTICUT ST. 
CLAY STANDS BEHIND INDICTED OFFICIAL 
These are the homes that feds say Gary's Jacquelyn Drago - Hunter used to illegally divert money from mortgages to herself and her three co-conspirators 

10262010 - News Article - Mayor stands behind indicted city official - Community development chief accused in $300,000 scam



Mayor stands behind indicted city official
Community development chief accused in $300,000 scam 
Post-Tribune (IN)
October 26, 2010

GARY -- Mayor Rudy Clay praised his director of community development Monday, commenting publicly for the first time since a federal grand jury said she participated in a $301,247 mortgage fraud scheme. 

Jacquelyn Drago - Hunter is charged with two counts of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. Jerry Haymon, Gary reserve police officer Phillip Rucker and mortgage broker Sheila Chandler also face wire fraud counts. 

A grand jury said Drago - Hunter forged paperwork and possibly signatures during private transactions to illegally divert money into bank accounts controlled by her and the co-defendants. 

Meanwhile, at least $5.4 million in federal stimulus grants were awarded to Gary's community development office under her leadership, according to a government website. Drago - Hunter is not accused of mishandling that tax money, but federal officials have stressed a need for public confidence in stimulus spending. 

The mayor wouldn't answer Monday when asked if Drago - Hunter would keep her job. 

"Jackie ( Drago - Hunter ) is a great God-fearing person from a great God-fearing family, and she's done a good job as community development block grant director," Clay said. "Right now that's practically all I can say." 

Drago - Hunter couldn't be reached for comment. Court records show she and Rucker surrendered Monday. Both asked for a court-appointed attorney. Drago - Hunter has filed for bankruptcy. Haymon surrendered Friday and pleaded not guilty. 

Rucker is accused of taking a kickback after recruiting a buyer for one house where a fraudulent transaction took place. Chandler is accused of misrepresenting herself to a title company, lender and others. 

Haymon is accused of filing false mechanics liens and distributing kickbacks to his co-defendants and other unidentified associates. One fraudulent transaction identified in the indictment allegedly took place at 4028 Tennessee St. Haymon has said he used tax money directed to him by City Council President Ronier Scott to renovate that house. Scott has denied being a target of the investigation. 

The other addresses involved are 3829 Connecticut St., 3617 Johnson St. and 3758 Buchanan St. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

10252010 - News Article - Two years ago, Post-Tribune investigation uncovered spending by members of the Gary City Council without public oversight



Two years ago, Post-Tribune investigation uncovered spending  by members of the Gary City Council without public oversight
Two years ago, a nine-month Post-Tribune investigation uncovered a pattern of broad spending with little public oversight by members of the Gary City Council. The irresponsible spending continued, even as council members knew the city would be laying off workers and careening down a path toward possible bankruptcy. 

In particular, a handful of people benefited from the benevolence of Glen Park Councilman Ronier Scott . 

Now, even as he insists he's not the target of a federal probe, scrutiny remains on Scott who doled out $178,500 in Gary tax money from 2004 to 2007 to a Glen Park not-for-profit group called Coalition for Concern, headed by political insider Jerry Haymon. 

On Friday, a federal grand jury indicted Haymon, Gary Community Development Director Jacquelyn Drago-Hunter, Gary reserve police officer Phillip Rucker and mortgage broker Sheila Chandler. 

The group stands accused of wire fraud in a complicated maneuver to steal $301,247 by finding people to buy properties far in excess of what they were worth. The same scheme included phony liens and loan applications. Drago-Hunter, Mayor Rudy Clay's handpicked choice to head an important city department that handles millions in federal money, is also charged with two counts of aggravated identify theft. 

Scott awarded Haymon a $75,000 grant in 2007. However, its purpose was unclear. Haymon said the money was used to fix up a house at 4028 Tennessee St. Tax records from 2008 list Priced Right Construction, a firm owned by Haymon, as the owner. A year ago, federal agents arrived at 

Gary City Hall seeking copies of the same $75,000 grant pact. Now it appears federal authorities are focusing on Haymon and his cozy relationship to Scott . More indictments could be coming and more details will likely emerge about this complex scheme of kickbacks, fraud and lies. 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

10232010 - News Article - State auditors warn city not to continue operating in red



State auditors warn city not to continue operating in red
Post-Tribune (IN) 
October 23, 2010 
LAKE STATION -- The State Board of Accounts is warning Lake Station that it could face bankruptcy if it continues to operate at a deficit. 

State auditors estimated that the city's general fund budget could be $1.5 million in the red by the end of this year. 

"The amount of cash and investment deficit balances and the fact that tax levies have been set to statutory limits raises substantial doubt about the city's ability to continue as going concern," the audit stated. 

The city has spent nearly $6.5 million in excess of revenues since 2009 due to a failure to respond to the Department of Local Government Finance in a timely manner. As a result, the general, ambulance nonreverting and sanitary district bond funds did not have an appropriation. 

In the city's official response, Mayor Keith Soderquist and Clerk-Treasurer Brenda Sam-uels told auditors that the problems are inherited from the previous administration. The city has retained a financial consultant -- HJ Umbaugh and Associates -- to correct the problems and find viable options to eliminate the general fund deficit as quickly as possible. 

The letter states that city officials do not know why the city did not respond to the DLGF about its 1782 Notice. 

The audit listed several other problems, including the failure to use purchase orders, not listing a leased vehicle for the mayor as a taxable fringe benefit and paying $635.94 in interest charges and late fees on city-issued credit cards. 

Also, the city did not prepare a Schedule of Federal Grant Receipts and Disbursements for 2009. 

On Sept. 30, the city sanitary board raised taxes to pay off a bond on a court-ordered debt to the Gary Sanitary District. Each household will owe an extra $150 in property taxes. Officials said that then-mayor Shirley Wadding never informed the council that they had to raise sewer rates to meet the increased rates from GSD, which provides sewer services to the city. 

10232010 - News Article - Grand jury indicts four in complicated fraud scheme



Grand jury indicts four in complicated fraud scheme 
Post-Tribune (IN)
October 23, 2010 

Jerry Haymon once said he used cash from the Gary City Council to renovate a house at 4028 Tennessee St. and make "a beautiful home for a family that would have never been a homeowner." 

But a federal grand jury said Friday the house was one of four used by Haymon, Gary Community Development Director Jacquelyn Drago-Hunter, Gary reserve police officer Phillip Rucker and mortgage broker Sheila Chandler to commit a complicated fraud scheme. 

Together they illegally pocketed $301,247, according to a grand jury indictment unsealed Friday. They are all charged with wire fraud, and Drago-Hunter faces two charges of aggravated identity theft. 

Haymon surrendered Friday, according to his attorney, and court records show he pleaded not guilty. A Gary police spokesman said Rucker is on leave from his volunteer duties until the case is settled. 

The Post-Tribune first reported on Haymon's activities in a 2008 investigation. 

Fake documents, promises 
The grand jury said the defendants faked documents, made false promises and forged signatures as they executed their scheme between Oct. 1, 2007, and Nov. 5, 2008. 

It said Haymon and others convinced people they could help sell their properties. Then they found people to buy them far in excess of their market value. 

Haymon and others gave money to the buyers to create the false impression that the buyers were financially secure. That helped them obtain loans. 

Chandler prepared false loan applications for the buyers that were submitted to lenders, the grand jury said, and Haymon filed fake mechanics liens to obtain portions of the loans. 

Drago-Hunter, who is named as an owner of Maximilian Title, is accused of then preparing false HUD-1 settlement statements and disbursing the loan money. Haymon, Drago-Hunter, Chandler and Rucker shared the illegal cash, according to the indictment. 

Versions of this scheme took place at 3829 Connecticut St., 3617 Johnson St., 3758 Buchanan St. and 4028 Tennessee St., the grand jury said. All four are found in Gary's Glen Park area. 

Two closings alleged 
Haymon used his Priced Right Construction and Management LLC and K&L Consultants LLC businesses to commit part of the crime, the grand jury said. He is also identified as the leader of the not-for-profit Coalition of Concern. 

Haymon agreed Priced Right would buy 3829 Connecticut for $36,000 from "DB and JW," then an associate offered "SH" $10,000 to pretend to buy the property for $74,000. Priced Right filed a mechanics lien for $35,000 on the property even though Priced Right had done no work there. 

Drago-Hunter closed the sale twice on Feb. 29, 2008, the grand jury said. First she prepared a false HUD-1 settlement statement that said "DB and JW" sold to "SH." The grand jury said the signatures of "DB and JW" were forged. 

That paperwork said the sellers got $36,237, which the grand jury said was false. Drago-Hunter then sent $35,000 to Priced Right but didn't note it on the HUD-1. 

During the next closing, the grand jury said, Drago-Hunter prepared a second HUD-1 that said Priced Right purchased 3829 Connecticut for $36,000. She then disbursed additional money to Maximilian but didn't state it on the paperwork. 

Finally, Haymon paid a $13,000 kickback to the unnamed associate who first recruited "SH." The grand jury said there were also kickbacks to a mortgage broker for "SH" and others. 

Similar schemes took place at the other addresses, the grand jury said, with Chandler helping with two sales and Rucker helping with one. 

Rucker participated by recruiting one buyer to purchase 3758 Buchanan in July 2008, the grand jury said, and accepting a $5,000 kickback along with Chandler and unnamed others. 

Chandler is accused of telling a title company, lender and others she was a loan processor for a mortgage company for the sales at 3758 Buchanan and 4028 Tennessee. The grand jury also said she prepared false documents and accepted a $3,000 kickback along with unnamed others. 

Chandler faces nine charges in a separate but similar indictment filed in May. She and four others are accused of taking more than $600,000 in that case, which is set to go to trial Jan. 18. 

City Council money used 
The Post-Tribune asked Haymon about his activities with the Coalition of Concern, Priced Right Construction and K&L Consultants in 2008. 

The Coalition received $75,000 from the Gary City Council under a 2007 grant agreement with Councilman Ronier Scott , who represents Glen Park. It was unclear from the terms of the deal what services Haymon was expected to provide. 

But Haymon later said that money was used to fix up 4028 Tennessee. In 2008, property records said it was owned by Priced Right Construction. 

"Gary was getting ready to put it on the demolition list," Haymon said that year. 

Federal agents sent a subpoena to Gary City Hall in November 2009 seeking copies of the grant agreement, a city attorney said at the time. 

Scott also directed at least $103,500 to the Coalition of Concern between 2004 and 2006, records show. Haymon originally denied receiving it but later acknowledged the money. 

He also provided a letter that said K&L was under the scrutiny of the Indiana Attorney General's consumer protection division until May 2008, when the office took no action against it. 

Scott said he was surprised to hear about Friday's indictment, even though he's been contacted by federal agents about the case in the past. 

The document references "others known and unknown to the grand jury" while outlining the scheme, but Scott said agents gave him no reason to think he's targeted."They're just coming to me for information," Scott said. 

Clay mum on Drago-Hunter 
Gary Mayor Rudy Clay failed to return several calls seeking comment about Drago-Hunter, who manages millions in federal dollars while running his city's community development office. 

Darnail Lyles, Chandler's attorney, said he had yet to see the indictment. Haymon's attorney, John R. Cantrell, said he had not yet given it a close read and declined to comment. 

An attorney listed in court records for Drago-Hunter said he no longer represents her. No attorney was listed for Rucker. 

Lt. Samuel Roberts, a spokesman for the Gary Police Department, said Rucker finished his most recent volunteer shift for the GPD at 8 a.m. Friday. 

He said Rucker told Police Chief Gary Carter about the indictment, and Carter put Rucker on leave. 

Roberts said, "one is innocent until proven otherwise."  

Jacquelyn Drago-Hunter 
Gary Community Development director and Maximilian Title owner 

Jerry Haymon 
Priced Right Construction and Management LLC and K&L Consultants LLC 

Phillip Rucker 
Gary reserve police officer 

Sheila Chandler
Mortgage broker

Thursday, October 7, 2010

10072010 - Indiana Animal Cruelty Laws - IC 35-46-3-12 - Torture; Killing of a domestic animal









































10072010 - Indiana Animal Cruelty Laws - IC 35-46-3-6 - Officials' rights to impound animals if they believe a person may have violated cruelty laws









































10072010 - Indiana Animal Cruelty Laws - IC 35-46-3-0.5 - Definitions










































10072010 - Indiana Animal Cruelty Laws - IC 35-46-3-15 - Offenses Relating To Animals



















































10072010 - Judiciary Commission investigation of Porter County Magistrate James Johnson - The disappearing investigation




WTF ever happened to the Indiana Judiciary Commission's investigation of Porter County Superior Court Magistrate James Johnson? How did the investigation simply 'disappear'? Who was involved in protecting Johnson from accountability for his actions against those who were unfortunate to have their divorce cases before him? AND, who covered up Magistrate Johnson's corruption?

Yes, I know it has been seven years since the investigation - BUT, having endured an unlawful police entry into my home by the Portage PD, and having my beloved furbabies Abbi and Bailey killed in retaliation for me having reported Johnson - I have a right to ask: "WTF happened??!!" AND, I am entitled to answers.


A magistrate was caught red-handed by the State, improperly handling approximately 100 divorce cases - and, not one official in Porter County was concerned about the victims - instead, the officials were concerned about protecting the corrupt magistrate. 

What's equally puzzling is that the investigation of Johnson just simply vanished, after the magistrate had been given a two week extension to comply with the Indiana Judiciary Commission - on the exact date of the unlawful police entry into my home.


One of the officials who played a role in covering up the unlawful police entry into my home, and then put a halt into an investigation, was  none other than federally indicted Portage Mayor James Snyder.

At the very least, I am OWED answers for the unlawful police entry into my home and the deaths of my furbabies, Abbi Mae and Bailey Su. And, I am OWED the funds the Portage police officers were talking about on their radios, the day of the unlawful police entry - marital funds / assets my ex had hidden from me, that police claimed were, "More money than I have ever seen... Can't believe he has that much money..."



FBI Public Corruption 

FBI Online Tips

FBI Regional Corruption Hotlines










News Articles - Judiciary Commission investigation of Porter County Magistrate James Johnson

07072010 - News Article - Hand of justice deemed too slow - Magistrate James Johnson judicial investigation


07072010 - News Article - Magistrate investigated on allegations of slow work flow - Magistrate James Johnson judicial investigation


07112010 - News Article - County judges failing to keep up - Magistrate James Johnson judicial investigation


07112010 - News Article - Magistrates failing to keep up with case loads - Magistrate James Johnson judicial investigation


07202010 - News Article - Porter County judges to discuss magistrate's performance - Magistrate James Johnson judicial investigation


07202010 - News Article - By a jury of his peers - Magistrate James Johnson judicial investigation


07212010 - News Article - Help to be brought in for magistrate - Magistrate James Johnson judicial investigation

07212010 - News Article - Here comes the judge's backup help - Magistrate James Johnson judicial investigation


07212010 - News Article - Porter judges take stand - Magistrate James Johnson judicial investigation


07222010 - News Article - Indiana magistrate to get help clearing case backlog - Magistrate James Johnson judicial investigation


07232010 - News Article - EDITORIAL: Speedy trials, speedy rulings - Magistrate James Johnson judicial investigation


07232010 - News Article - POLL - Should Porter County hire a temporary, part-time probate commissioner to assist Magistrate James Johnson - Magistrate James Johnson judicial investigation


07232010 - News Article - MARK KIESLING: Magistrate's progress bears watching - Magistrate James Johnson judicial investigation


07242010 - News Article - Attorney hired to help ease court's backlog in Porter County - Magistrate James Johnson judicial investigation


07242010 - News Article - Attorney is hired to help ease backlog. Hearing sheds light on the pain of trial delays - Magistrate James Johnson judicial investigation


07242010 - News Article - Probate commissioner named to help magistrate with cases - Magistrate James Johnson judicial investigation


10072010 - News Article - Magistrate still working on backlog - Magistrate James Johnson judicial investigation


10072010 - News Article - Magistrate continues working on backlog - Two week extension granted for clearing family law paperwork - Magistrate James Johnson judicial investigation


10072010 - Magistrate Johnson judicial investigation - Confidential Caution?


05242011 - News Article - Porter County magistrate stepping down - Magistrate James Johnson judicial investigation


05242011 - News Article - Porter County magistrate resigns amid case backlog - Magistrate James Johnson judicial investigation


05252011 - News Article - Magistrate James Johnson tenders his resignation - Magistrate James Johnson judicial investigation


06152011 - News Article - Applications being accepted for magistrate - Magistrate James Johnson judicial investigation










Porter County Magistrate James Johnson - Complaints filed


























































"She filed for divorce on March 23, 2011, and on April 5, Magistrate James Johnson’s court filed a provisional order that divided some assets before the divorce went to court"
[Trial date set in Portage killing. Post Tribune. 05022011]



"According to the Porter County Clerk’s Office, Cheryl Miller applied for a protective order from her husband. A Porter County judge granted her the order in April and declared the husband be removed from the residence. The couple filed for divorce April 13."
[2 dead in Kouts firebombing, suicide. Post Tribune. 05312011]