Specifics sought in DuPage IT contract-rigging case
Two of the three men charged in a contract-rigging scandal at the DuPage County Forest Preserve District have requested -- and are expected to receive -- a more detailed explanation of the charges they are facing.
Attorneys representing Arif Mahmood and David Tepper say they need the so-called "bill of particulars" to properly defend their clients against prosecutors' claims that the three conspired to scam the district out of more than $150,000 over a roughly six-year period.
"We need more detail -- more specifics -- on what evidence the state intends to utilize in its prosecution to support each count in the indictment," said Tim Martin, Mahmood's attorney.
Tepper, the forest preserve district's former information technology manager, and former IT Director Mark McDonald are accused of co-owning a company -- Integrated Design Solutions -- that billed the district for equipment and services that never were delivered.
Mahmood is accused of participating in a second scheme with Tepper and McDonald. Prosecutors said Mahmood owned the now-defunct Alamach Technology Inc. when it overbilled the district for contracted work and subcontracted for Integrated Design Solutions.
Tepper and McDonald each have pleaded not guilty to 140 counts of conspiracy, theft, accepting kickbacks, official misconduct and other charges. Mahmood has pleaded not guilty to 37 felony counts, including conspiracy, theft and accepting kickbacks.
Terry Ekl, Tepper's attorney, argued during a Monday hearing that the bill of particulars is needed because of the complexity of the case. He said prosecutors already have turned over about 14,000 pages of documents to the defense attorneys.
"Knowing exactly the conduct that they (prosecutors) are alleging was illegal is important," Ekl said. "We shouldn't be left to kind of guess what they are alleging they (the defendants) did."
DuPage County Judge Blanche Hill Fawell said the request for the bill of particulars is reasonable. She is giving prosecutors 45 days to comply.
Tepper, McDonald and Mahmood are free on bail while awaiting trial.