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Federal bank fraud charges vs. downtown Algonquin developer

Updated: December 22, 2012 6:20AM



ALGONQUIN — The former owner of an area home building company that went bankrupt in 2008, leaving unfinished a commercial and residential property development in downtown Algonquin, is facing federal bank fraud charges related to the collapse of the project, known as Riverside Square.

Bruce Hawkins, who owned Aspen Homebuilders Inc., was arrested Monday in Denver, where he now lives, after being indicted last week by a federal grand jury in Chicago, according to a release Tuesday from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Hawkins, 62, formerly of Algonquin, was charged with eight counts of bank fraud for allegedly defrauding Amcore Bank of more than $1 million. He was released on a $25,000 bond after appearing Monday in federal court in Denver, and was ordered to appear for arraignment next week in Chicago.

According to the indictment, in September 2006, Hawkins, acting through Riverside Square LLC, obtained a $13.54 million commercial loan to finance the construction of Riverside Square, a 54-unit, four-story luxury condo complex at Routes 31 and 62.

The indictment alleges that between January 2007 and June 2008, Hawkins fraudulently obtained slightly more than $1 million in loan proceeds from Amcore Bank by submitting false paperwork requesting the money for permits, construction work, and consulting work for the development.

Hawkins allegedly submitted false contractor statements to the bank, in which he verified that subcontractors and his company were owed funds for work performed on Riverside Square. Hawkins also allegedly submitted false lien waivers and invoices for work performed to the title company, which was designated by Amcore Bank to keep and disburse funds for the project.

The indictment seeks forfeiture of at least $1,017,183. Each count of bank fraud carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine, and restitution is mandatory.



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