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Forest Preserve Files Civil Action to Recover Taxpayer Dollars

Forest Preserve District of DuPage County files civil action to recover stolen taxpayer dollars in an alleged scheme of two former employees.

Attorneys for the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County filed a civil action in court today seeking to recover all taxpayer dollars possible related to alleged crimes by criminally charged ex-employees as well as an ex-vendor, according to a press release from the district.
 
The complaint for declaratory judgment was filed in DuPage County Circuit Court as DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin on Wednesday Mark McDonald and Dave Tepper, and Arif Mahmood from the computer vendor company Alamach Technologies, Inc.

Authorities say the men planned to bilk the forest preserve of about $150,000. In their first plan, involving McDonald's and Tepper's company Integrated Design Solutions, the two former employees billed and received more than $90,000 from the forest preserve for equipment and services that were never delivered from July 20, 2005 to November 7, 2011, according to a release from the DuPage County State's Attorney.

In the second scheme, officials say Mahmood acted as an employee of Alamach Technology Inc., and overbilled the forest preserve for contracted work from February 25, 2010 through November 7, 2011. He then subcontracted with Integrated Design Solutions in the amount overbilled for services that were never rendered, netting McDonald and Tepper more than $64,000 in kickbacks, according to the release.

Berlin asked the forest preserve to wait to file in court until his office completed its investigation, according to the release from the forest preserve district.

Dewey Pierotti Jr., president of the board of the Forest Preserve District said in a statement, “We want to make sure we take every step possible to recover every dollar possible for taxpayers."

Forest preserve administrators first detected suspicious activity of McDonald, Tepper and Alamach, in 2011 and hired a computer forensics expert to investigate, according to the release.

attorneys are seeking to void the contracts with Alamach Industries and asking the judge to hold a hearing to determine an amount that potentially could be returned to the District and taxpayers, according to the release.
 
Since turning the matter over to the State’s Attorney in late 2011, the Forest Preserve District has been working with the State’s Attorney’s office as well as the FBI to assist in the investigation. The FBI was brought in because of its forensic computer expertise. No charges have been brought against the District or any remaining elected officials or employees.

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Police Blotter information is provided by . Charges are not evidence of guilt. They are a record of police actions taken on a given day, and persons charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty in court. If you or a family member are charged or cited and the case is subsequently adjudicated, we encourage you to notify the editor. We will verify and report the outcome.

We Deserve Better in DuPage September 09, 2012 at 03:55 AM
Pierotti talks a big game but his actions should be a big shame! Thank you to Adam Morgan of Chicagoland Outdoors http://www.chicagonow.com/chicagoland-outdoors/2012/09/trouble-in-the-forest-fbi-looks-into-dupage-preserve-scandal-district-president-goes-on-angry-tirade/#comment-5 for taking the time to cover this important story. The FBI's investigation of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, the closed door meeting the President of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County had with the Chairman of DuPage County and the big bonuses paid to the former Executive Director are excellent reasons why we should ask questions. If we (concerned citizens) don't ask questions no one will because the Commissioners have not asked one. Let President Pierotti yell, make false accusations and insult the concerned citizens but at the very least please answer our questions. Please pass this along!

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