ARRESTS MADE IN FORD HEIGHTS’
Thursday, March 27, 2014 — Two men have been charged with felonies after a Cook County Sheriff’s Police investigation found they took $20,300 loaned to a Ford Heights Church and spent the money for personal use, Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart said today.
Allis Franklin, 66, and Horace Brownfield, 63, have each been charged with theft from a house of worship. Brownfield’s bond was set at a $200,000 during a court appearance today at the Markham Courthouse. Franklin’s bond was also set at $200,000 during his court appearance on Wednesday.
According to the Sheriff’s Police investigation, in August Franklin assisted the True Light Missionary Baptist Church in applying for a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan to pay for the costs to repair the building.
In November, Franklin and Brownfield went to a bank in Chicago Heights and filled out paperwork for a resolution of corporation, representing themselves as officers of the church. The resolution allowed the two to open accounts, make deposits and make withdrawals. The SBA loan of $20,300 was deposited into this account, unbeknownst to the church.
The pair, according to the investigation, withdrew the entire amount from the account they established and spent the funds for personal use.
The Sheriff’s Police investigation began in December after the church’s pastor contacted the SBA to check the status of the loan and learned that the money had been already been deposited.
Sheriff’s Police took Franklin into custody on Tuesday and took Brownfield into custody on Wednesday.
Their next scheduled court date is April 16 at the Markham Courthouse.
Sheriff Dart also reminds the public that the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty by the government in a court of law.