Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Former McLean Co. Board Chair Reaches Plea Deal on Fraud Charges

LLINOIS NEWS NETWORK--A former McLean County Board chairman has struck a plea deal with the government regarding alleged defrauding of State Farm Insurance although the terms of the agreement are unclear.
A lawyer for Matt Sorensen told federal Judge Ronald Guzman Tuesday morning that the former State Farm Insurance contractor and board chair has reached a deal with the government on regarding federal wire fraud charges. Sorensen’s change-of-plea hearing is set for September 28th at 2 p.m. in Chicago. A date for sentencing will likely be set at that time. The exact terms of the agreement and how much time, if any, Sorensen would serve were not disclosed.
His co-defendant Navdeep Arora has entered a not guilty plea and will go to trial sometime next year. Arora’s lawyer said that his client was suffering from unspecified mental health issues. He told the judge that Arora’s mental state would have impaired his ability to commit the fraud charges levied against him.
Whether Sorensen will cooperate in the government’s case against Arora was not disclosed.
Federal indictments from August 2015 alleged that Sorensen and Arora defrauded State Farm Insurance in Bloomington of more than $890,000 in false expenses dealing with non-existent travel and other purchases. The alleged crimes took place between 2003 and 2012. Sorensen was charged with five counts of wire fraud. Each count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine.
Sorensen resigned from his chairman position after the indictments were made public. Officials with the county confirmed that they could not find any improprieties in Sorensen’s work as chairman.
Both men are free on bond.

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