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Arbor Day? Deserting divorcee’s life on the lam to end in Chicago courtroom

Patrick Arbor. File Photo.

Patrick Arbor. File Photo.

Former Chicago Board of Trade Chairman Patrick Arbor is expected to be returned Friday to a Chicago courtroom in the custody of Cook County sheriff’s deputies after five years as a fugitive — from a divorce judgment.

Arbor, 81, was detained Wednesday night by U.S. Customs agents at Boston’s Logan International Airport as he attempted to board a flight to Rome.

It was the second arrest this week in Boston for Arbor in connection with a civil warrant out of Cook County stemming from his divorce from Antoinette Vigilante, who is trying to collect from him on an $18 million divorce judgment.

Arbor was first arrested Monday by Massachusetts State Police while attending his grandson’s college graduation. But the Cook County sheriff’s office declined to extradite Arbor — citing confusion over the warrant — and he was quickly released.

Patrick H .Arbor in 1993 with an acoustic guitar he used to play Italian folk tunes. File Photo.

Patrick H .Arbor in 1993 with an acoustic guitar he used to play Italian folk tunes. File Photo.

Lawyers for Vigilante then tweaked the warrant to satisfy the sheriff’s concerns and entered it in into the National Crime Information Center database.

This time, the sheriff’s office said two members of its Fugitive Apprehension Unit will be in East Boston Municipal Court at 9 a.m. Friday to take custody of Arbor and transport him to Chicago.

If all goes as planned, Arbor should be brought before a judge at the Daley Center on Friday afternoon, where he would be required to post a $288,983 cash bond —equaling an amount he was ordered to pay his ex-wife that initially resulted in him fleeing the country in protest.

Lawrence Byrne, a lawyer for Vigilante, said he will additionally ask the court to require Arbor to relinquish his passport to keep him from leaving the country again.

Arbor told Massachusetts authorities he is now a resident of Switzerland. In recent years, he also has identified himself as a resident of Italy.

Former Chicago Board of Trade Chairman Patrick Arbor posed earlier this year for this photo with friend Giselle Coates in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

Former Chicago Board of Trade Chairman Patrick Arbor posed for this photo with friend Giselle Coates in Playa del Carmen, Mexico in 2017. | Sun-Times File Photo.

Byrne wants Arbor to sit for a legal proceeding called a “citation to discover assets” in an effort to force the longtime commodities trader to disclose how much money he has and where he is keeping it. Arbor is believed to have transferred much of his fortune into Swiss bank and other offshore accounts before leaving the country.

In court in Boston on Thursday, Arbor initially argued he should not be extradited to Illinois because the case involved civil not criminal matters.

But when the Boston judge ordered Arbor held without bail on the Cook County warrant pending an extradition hearing, Arbor waived extradition and agreed to be brought back to Chicago.

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Arbor, who chaired the Board of Trade from 1993 to 1999, was regarded as one of Chicago’s most prominent citizens over several decades — a player in political, civic and philanthropic affairs whose name appeared regularly in bold-faced type in newspaper gossip columns.

The case is considered somewhat unusual because there are no criminal charges pending against Arbor, only the bench warrant known as a body attachment, which normally would not result in extradition.

In this case, however, the judge’s order specifically states that the warrant is “fully extraditable anywhere in the United States of America, and may be enforced by any law enforcement agency in the United States.”

Because the matter arises out of a private dispute, Cook County’s cost of extraditing Arbor is to be paid from the proceeds of his $288,983 bond. If there are no bond proceeds, Vigilante must pay the extradition costs.

After Arbor refused to come to court in 2013, he was essentially left defenseless in the divorce case as the judges handling the matter no longer recognized his lawyers’ standing. The Illinois Supreme Court declined to consider his appeal.

Arbor and Vigilante were married for 17 years