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Ex-county worker gets 6 months for stealing from flood relief grant

SHARE Ex-county worker gets 6 months for stealing from flood relief grant
SHARE Ex-county worker gets 6 months for stealing from flood relief grant

A former Cook County worker who admitted in federal court that he swindled cash out of a $10.3 million federal grant meant to help flood victims has been sentenced to six months in prison.

Barry Croall, 47, collected kickbacks after arranging for companies to overbill for services in the wake of severe flooding in 2008, according to federal prosecutors.He pleaded guilty Nov. 7, 2016 in front of U.S. District Judge Andrea Wood to embezzling. The feds said he used the money he stole to buy a condo in Yorkville, pay credit card bills and pay mortgages on properties owned by his company, Dove US.He faced a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, but federal prosecutors had asked for 24-30 months.

On Wednesday, Judge Wood sentenced Croall to six months in federal prison and two years of supervised release, according to a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Croall was accused of stealing $330,000 from the grant when he was indicted in 2014. The English immigrant worked as a program manager in Cook County’s Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, which was in charge of implementing the grant.

Croall admitted arranged for companies working on eligible homes to submit inflated invoices in 2010 to the nonprofit West Suburban Neighborhood Preservation Agency, which was reimbursed by Cook County before payingthe companies.

Croall later went back and collected kickbacks from those companies.

Strategic Management Services boss Ronald Ford of Country Club Hills was also charged in the scheme and allegedly kicked at least $108,000 back to Croall.

He pleaded guilty to conversion of government property and was sentenced in May by Judge Wood to six months in prison, followed by one year of supervised release, which included six months of home confinement.

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