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Chicago real estate VP charged with double-pledging financing notes

A man stabbed a woman and three children Feb. 20, 2021 in Bronzeville.
Sun-Times file photo

The vice president of a prominent Chicago real estate company best known for developing Block 37 in the Loop pleaded guilty Friday on charges related to the redevelopment of the old Goldblatt’s department store in Uptown, federal authorities said.

Caroline Walters of Joseph Freed and Associates admitted in a plea agreement that she lied to Cole Taylor Bank about double-pledging financing notes, issued by the city of Chicago, that had been issued to two different banks as collateral, according to a press release from the U.S. attorney’s office.

Walters, 55, of Palatine, has been charged with one count of making a false statement to a financial institution. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a maximum fine of $1 million or twice the gross gain or gross loss resulting from the offense, whichever is greater, according to the statement.

In 2013, Walters and JFA president Laurance H. Freed, 53, of Chicago, were indicted. Freed has pleaded not guilty to seven counts of bank fraud, one count of mail fraud, one count of wire fraud, and six counts of making a false statement to a financial institution. His jury trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 8, according to the statement.

Walters’ sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 10, according to the statement.