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Article updated: 8/15/2013 5:27 PM

Two men plead guilty to swindling Palatine senior

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Two suburban men have pleaded guilty to bilking a Palatine senior out of hundreds of dollars for unnecessary repairs to his chimney.

In exchange for guilty pleas Tuesday to aggravated home repair fraud, a Cook County judge sentenced Tony Miller, of the 1100 block of River Road in Des Plaines, and Rocky Reed, of the 500 block of Ida Court in Mount Prospect, to 24 months probation and ordered them to pay the victim restitution, court records show.

Miller, 30, and Reed, 24, approached the man outside his home earlier this year to tell him his chimney cap had fallen off, prosecutors said at the defendants' bond hearings. After telling the man they could repair it, the men performed superficial work which included applying a coat of tar and black spray paint, which a licensed contractor later characterized as "providing no structural improvements to the home," prosecutors said.

Miller's background includes a 2003 conviction for home repair fraud and a 2002 conviction for burglary. The judge ordered him to pay $250 in restitution and $649 in fines, court records show.

At the time of his arrest in the Palatine case, Reed was on bond for similar charges stemming from a 2012 incident in which prosecutors say he bilked a 93-year-old Mount Prospect woman out of $1,200 after he failed to repair her front porch as promised.

In response to his guilty plea on those charges, Reed received an additional sentence of 24 months probation Tuesday. Court records show the judge ordered the sentences to run concurrently and ordered Reed to pay $1,200 in restitution and $649 in fines.

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