Official Requests Jail Time for Deadbeat CEO

Robert Wharton is accused of coaxing $63,000 in checks from his former secretary, who has dementia

Tuesday, Jan 10, 2012  |  Updated 11:41 AM CDT
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Official Requests Jail Time for Deadbeat CEO

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The CEO of a big Illinois nonprofit could face incarceration for not paying back tens of thousands of dollars he allegedly coxed from his former secretary with dementia.

Robert Wharton, head of the Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County, promised last year in court to repay the approximately $63,000 in checks he allegedly got his secretary to write him, according to the Chicago Tribune. He never admitted any wrongdoing.

The employee, Dorothy Hork, wrote more than 50 checks ranging from $200 to $3,500 with "loan" written on them, said Cook County Public Guardian Robert Harris.

But Harris claims Wharton never intended to pay back Hork. Wharton wrote checks that bounced and defaulted on the $78,000 settlement agreement, said Harris, who asked the court to hold the CEO in criminal contempt and force him to reimburse Hork.

Harris told the Tribune Hork can't control her basic life functions because of dementia and that Wharton used her.

Wharton told the publication he plans to repay Hork but denied exploiting her, saying he acted as a friend toward the 91-year-old woman.
 

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