By Jean Lotus
River Forest police arrested a Chicago man and charged him with defrauding at least nine businesses, including a River Forest bank, by accepting around $46,000 for snow plowing, painting and landscaping services he allegedly never provided.
Robert McKinney, 23, of the 300 block of North Central Park Avenue in Chicago, allegedly over-promised property maintenance services through a company called Better Quality Solutions, registered in Westchester.
Between November 2014 and January 2015, McKinney allegedly "solicit[ed] service contracts and accept[ed] money knowing he did not have the equipment experience or resources to fulfill the agreements," according to the River Forest police statement issued Feb. 3.
McKinney, previously was convicted in 2011 of forgery in DeKalb County and was on probation.
An investigation was started by River Forest, Berwyn and Chicago police departments. Officers from the three departments executed a search warrant Jan. 28 at McKinney's residence in the 300 block of North Central Park Avenue and seized three computers, counterfeit checks and other evidence related to financial crimes, the statement said.
River Forest Deputy Police Chief James O'Shea said financial forensic analysis and the willingness of the victim institutions to come forward aided the investigation. River Forest was the lead agency in the investigation, since a River Forest bank came forward first to complain about McKinney, said O'Shea.
The bank was the only River Forest business allegedly defrauded by McKinney, O'Shea said.
"We commend the victims' willingness to sign criminal complaints and assist with prosecution of the alleged offender," he said.
McKinney was charged with running a financial crime enterprise, felony forgery and theft. Bail was set at $50,000. Police said more charges may follow.
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