- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 8, 2015

CHICAGO (AP) - A federal judge has sentenced a 32-year-old man to a year and a half in prison for helping 80 people file bogus bankruptcy papers to avoid hefty Chicago impound fines.

Daniel Rankins on Tuesday was also ordered to pay $142,000 in restitution. The Storm Lake, Iowa, man and former Chicago resident reports to prison Sept. 29.

Prosecutors say car owners used partially filled-in forms Rankins provided to file for bankruptcy. By the time individuals’ Chapter 7 cases went before a judge, they would have long since retrieved their cars. They wouldn’t appear in court and the judge would dismiss the case.

An investigation was launched after revenue officials noticed more and more car owners listing only two entities as creditors - an auto pound and the city’s Revenue Department.

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