Feds accuse ex- Illinois suburban top cop of laundering $1.25M grant
SPRINGFIELD — A former Country Club Hills police chief was arraigned on federal charges Friday for allegedly laundering a $1.25 million state grant in 2009 and using it to pay off personal debt.
Regina R. Evans, 49, of Country Club Hills, was indicted April 4 for mail fraud and money laundering. The indictment was unsealed when she appeared Friday morning in federal court in Springfield.
According to the indictment, Evans owned several organizations, both for-profit and nonprofit, including The Prime Time Group Inc., The Regal Theater LLC and We Are Our Brother's Keeper.
In early 2008, Evans financed $2.3 million to buy the Regal Theater in Chicago. A year later, however, she and the organizations she owned were in significant debt, and the theater was in foreclosure.
In early 2009, Evans and another person, who was not named, applied for money through the state’s Employment Opportunities Grant Program, saying they would use the money to boost the number of minorities and women entering trade union apprenticeships. The effort was to occur through Evans’ We Are Our Brother's Keeper Foundation.
The state Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity awarded a $1.25 million job-training grant to the foundation. Federal prosecutors allege Evans split the grant into six different accounts and diverted money to repay debt on the theater, as well as pay off other debt she had incurred.
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan in July sued Evans in Cook County circuit court over the alleged misuse of the grant. Madigan and federal prosecutors allege that Evans failed to cooperate with the state’s grant-monitoring process.
Evans was released Friday on a $10,000 recognizance bond. A tentative trial date was set for June 5.
She resigned as Country Club Hills police chief in October. She is married to Ronald Evans, a former Chicago police officer who briefly was the inspector general of Country Club Hills until the City Council eliminated the position in August.
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