- Associated Press - Friday, May 16, 2014

CHICAGO (AP) - A Chicago real estate developer who was a key government witness in several corruption cases has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $370,000 from suburban taxpayers.

John Thomas used $900,000 in tax increment financing funds awarded his company for a redevelopment project at the now-closed Riverdale Marina to repay personal loans, legal fees and other expenses.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports (http://bit.ly/1jE1MNe) defense attorneys Joe Lopez and Larry Beaumont said Friday that Thomas has already paid back $75,000 of the money he stole and that he hopes to pay back the rest. The plea deal does not require Thomas to cooperate with prosecutors.

The 51-year-old Thomas was an undercover informant in a series of corruption cases, including the case against fundraiser Tony Rezko, who’s serving time in prison.

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Information from: Chicago Sun-Times, http://www.suntimes.com/index