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Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan
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May 7, 2009

MADIGAN: CALUMET PARK MAN GUILTY OF DEFRAUDING CHICAGO SENIOR
IN REAL ESTATE SCAM

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today secured a guilty plea from a Calumet Park man on two counts of theft over $100,000 for forging documents as part of a scheme to sell real estate right out from under elderly victims and their estates.

Judge Douglas Simpson of the Circuit Court of Cook County, 6th District, Markham, sentenced Adrian Garner, 38, of Calumet Park, Ill., to five years in the Illinois Department of Corrections as a result of today's plea.

During 2004 and 2005, Garner used fraudulent documents as part of two separate schemes to obtain real estate. In May 2005, Garner used forged documents to fraudulently establish that he possessed the power of attorney on behalf of Myrtle Hickson, a 76-year-old widow. Garner misled Hickson, who is now deceased, and her family into believing he would help renovate Hickson's home and sell it for the family at a profit. Instead, Garner obtained the home's deed by using the unauthorized documents with the alleged power of attorney for Hickson. Garner then sold the home to his father in June 2005, and transferred nearly $114,000 in profit from the transaction to his business account.

In the second scheme, Garner executed and used fake documents in December 2005 to fraudulently obtain part of approximately $100,000 in proceeds from the sale of a deceased man's Chicago home.

"This is truly an example of how callous con artists target seniors who depend on their savings and investments," Madigan said. "My office continues to aggressively prosecute individuals who prey on seniors for their own personal benefit."

The Attorney General's office learned of the cases during an unrelated investigation with the Illinois State Police and the U.S. Secret Service's Chicago Organized Crimes Task Force.

Assistant Attorney General Neal Goodfriend handled the case for Attorney General Madigan's Financial Crimes Bureau.

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