Criminal Justice

Lake County Surveyor Among Three Separate Fed Indictments

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David CappThe Lakeshore’s Steve Walsh talked to US Attorney for the Northern District David Capp about a string of public corruption indictments which came out Friday afternoon.

Charges were handed down in three separate cases Friday, including against Lake County Surveyor George VanTil, who was charged with six counts of wire fraud and two counts of obstruction of justice.

Federal officials believe VanTil used county employees and resources as part of his 2008 and 2012 re-election campaign. Among the allegations, VanTil paid an employee $100 to remove a hard drive from a county computer. US Attorney David Capp, quoting from the indictment, said VanTil told the unnamed employee  he wanted the hard drive removed  “if one day the feds walked in and took our hard drive.”

Separately, Philadelphia gun dealer, Vahan Kelerchine, 53, of Richboro, Penn., is charged with nine counts in connection with the gun running scheme run out of the Lake County Sheriff’s Department, which in 2011 yielded guilty pleas from three sheriff’s officers. Federal prosecutors alleged Kelerchine conspired with former sheriff’s deputies Ronald Slusser and Joseph Kumstar to acquire and sell 71 machine guns and 74 laser sights  which are legal only for military and law enforcement.

In a third case, Roman Perez, 41, of Crown Point, owner of Roman Art, Inc., is charged with filing false statements under oath and filing false tax returns. Federal prosecutors said Perez underestimated his 2007 tax returns by $110,108, with the money coming from payments coming in part from the Lake County Sheriff’s commissary fund.

5 17 2013




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