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Evanston auto loan execs siphoned $5 million from shell company: feds

Two executives of Honor Finance LLC allegedly conspired with their accountant to pocket the money after moving it to a shell company, LHS Solutions Ltd., they controlled.

Dirksen Federal Courthouse
The executives of an Evanston-based auto loan company were indicted on federal charges mail fraud.
Sun-Times file photo

Two executives of an Evanston auto loan company are charged with misappropriating more than $5 million in company funds, funneling the money to themselves and relatives and even using some of the cash to pay for a lake house in Michigan.

James Collins and Robert DiMeo, of Honor Finance LLC, allegedly conspired with their accountant, Michael Walsh, to pocket the money after moving it to a shell company they controlled, according to an indictment filed in the U.S. District Court in Chicago.

They allegedly used the shell company, Skokie-based LHS Solutions Ltd., to buy GPS devices they later sold at inflated prices to Honor Finance, according to the indictment. Those GPS devices were used by the auto loan company to track down vehicles after their owners defaulted on their loans.

The trio allegedly pocketed the left over cash in the shell company between 2011 and 2018 and used some of the proceeds to make a down payment on a lake house in Dowagiac, Michigan, according to the indictment.

Collins, 50, of Evanston; DiMeo, 49, of Park Ridge; and Walsh, 62, of Evanston, each face 10 counts of mail fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Each count is punishable by 10 years in prison. Their arraignments are set for May 20.