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Former Forest Preserve Contractor Pleads Not Guilty in Theft Scheme

Arif Mahmood, a former contractor charged with stealing more than $10,000 from the DuPage County Forest Preserve District, pleads not guilty to 37 felony counts.

One of three men charged in an alleged scandal at the DuPage County Forest Preserve District pleaded not guilty Monday to 37 felony counts, the Daily Herald is reporting.

Arif Mahmood was indicted earlier this month on counts including theft by deception, accepting kickbacks and official misconduct.

Mahmood, 37, of Glendale Heights, worked as a contractor with the Forest District and with former Forest District employees Mark McDonald, 53, of the 1000 block of Childs Street in Wheaton, and David Tepper, 49, of the 300 block of Franklin Avenue in River Forest. Prosecutors are alleging they participated in a scheme to steal from the government agency, according to the DuPage County State's Attorney.

Authorities say the men planned to bilk the Forest District out of about $150,000. In one plan, involving McDonald's and Tepper's company, Integrated Design Solutions, the two former employees allegedly billed and received more than $90,000 from the Forest District for equipment and services that were never delivered between July 20, 2005, to Nov. 7, 2011, according to a press release.

In the second scheme, officials say Mahmood acted as an employee of Alamach Technology Inc. and overbilled the Forest District for contracted work from Feb. 25, 2010, through Nov. 7, 2011. He then subcontracted with Integrated Design Solutions in the amount overbilled for services that were never rendered, netting McDonald and Tepper more than $64,000 in kickbacks, according to the allegations.

Mahmood is charged with stealing more than $10,000 from the district, court records show.

Defense attorney Tim Martin told the Herald evidence would show Mahmood is not guilty.

Tepper and McDonald were charged with 140 counts each of theft, accepting kickbacks and official misconduct. They are scheduled to appear in DuPage County Court Nov. 20. 

Related:

  • DuPage Forest District Files Civil Action to Recover Taxpayer Dollars
  • FBI Investigates DuPage Forest Preserve Contracts
  • Forest Preserve Employees Accused of Misusing Funds
CountyLeaks November 20, 2012 at 08:21 PM
For information on political ties between the Forest Preserve and the DuPage County State's Attorney's office: http://countyleaks.blogspot.com/2012/10/cant-see-forest-for-sleaze-happy-trails.html

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