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updated: 5/16/2014 10:15 PM

Ex-informant pleads guilty to fraud

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Associated Press

A Chicago real estate developer who was a key government witness in several corruption cases has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $370,000 from suburban taxpayers.

John Thomas used $900,000 in tax increment financing funds awarded his company for a redevelopment project at the now-closed Riverdale Marina to repay personal loans, legal fees and other expenses.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported defense attorneys Joe Lopez and Larry Beaumont said Friday that Thomas has already paid back $75,000 of the money he stole and that he hopes to pay back the rest. The plea deal does not require Thomas to cooperate with prosecutors.

The 51-year-old Thomas was an undercover informant in a series of corruption cases, including the case against fundraiser Tony Rezko, who's serving time in prison.

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