Riverwoods businessman indicted on bank fraud and identity theft charges

 
By Henry Redman
Daily Herald correspondent

A 44-year-old Riverwoods businessman was indicted Wednesday on 11 counts of bank fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft by a federal grand jury in Chicago, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

Schiff filed fraudulent letters from financial institutions with the Cook County recorder of deeds about a variety of properties, a news release said. The letters falsely claimed that loans were paid in full, but Schiff kept the bank loans and proceeds from the eventual sales of the properties without paying the mortgages, the new release said.

Using multiple fake and stolen identities, Schiff fraudulently obtained loans for vehicles including a Jeep Grand Cherokee and a Lexus RX350, then sold the vehicles and kept the proceeds without paying the loans, authorities allege.

Schiff also used stolen identities to obtain lines of credit and credit cards, leaving large unpaid balances, the release said.

Authorities say three of Schiff's relatives and a business associate aided him in the fraudulent activities,

The indictment seeks restitution of $4.7 million from Schiff and a property in Riverwoods. Each bank fraud count is punishable by a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, and each count of aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory minimum sentence of two years after a conviction, the release said.

Schiff's arraignment has not yet been scheduled.

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