One of four men charged last year with illegally occupying and renting out foreclosed properties, several of which were located in Chicago’s Beverly neighborhood, pled guilty today and was sentenced to 45 months in the Illinois Department of Corrections, according to the Office of Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.
Arshad Thomas, 27, pled guilty to one count of burglary in connection with a property located in the 1600 block of West 106th Street.
According to prosecutors, Thomas was one of four men charged last July with illegally occupying and renting out numerous foreclosed properties located in communities in Chicago. Capitalizing on mortgage foreclosures in local Chicago neighborhoods, the four men are alleged to have engaged in a pattern of illegal activity in which they unlawfully claimed foreclosed or vacant properties as their own and either moved into the property themselves, or rented the home to a third party and acted as a landlord. Thomas was alleged to have unlawfully entered three different properties, changed the locks, and resided in the properties without the authority of the lawful owners.
Thomas entered his plea at a hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courts Building in Chicago before Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan who handed down the 45 month prison sentence.
The other defendants, whose cases are pending, are Raymond Trimble (Thomas’ father), David Farr and Torrez Moore.
The investigation was conducted by the Chicago Police Department’s Financial Crimes Unit with assistance from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Inspector General’s Office, the Chicago Office of the FBI, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the Cook County Recorder of Deeds Office and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Financial Crimes Unit.