WINDY CITY TIMES
||Velvet Rope owner pleads guilty to arson and fraud
by Matt Simonette
This article shared 2607 times since Tue Aug 4, 2015
A former bar owner accused of burning down his Oak Park nightclubwho at the time maintained that the fire was a hate crimehas pled guilty to one count of arson and one count of insurance fraud, according to the Cook County State's Attorney's Office.
The Crime in Wrigleyville and Boystown blog reported, on August 3, that Frank Elliott, who owned the now-shuttered Bonsai Bar & Lounge in Lake View, had pled guilty to hiring someone to burn down his Oak Park bar, the Velvet Rope, in June, 2012, as part of an insurance scheme.
Tandra Simonton, spokesperson for the state's attorney's office, said that in exchange for his plea, Elliott will receive two years of probation and a fine of $1,179, and must pay restitution of $107,000. He initially faced seven years in prison for each of two arson counts, and 15 years for insurance fraud. Elliott entered his plea on June 8.
At the time of the arson, Oak Park city officials said graffiti at the scene suggested that the Velvet Rope fire was a hate crime. But prosecutors said that Elliott, prompted by financial difficulties, was ultimately responsible for the blaze.
Crime in Boystown's report is at www.cwbchicago.com/2015/08/frank-elliott-former-boystown-bar-owner.html .
This article shared 2607 times since Tue Aug 4, 2015
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