HAMMOND — An Illinois contractor is being placed on probation for illegally dumping in a Gary wetland.
U.S. District Court Judge James T. Moody sentenced 39-year-old Mahmoud Alshuaibi to two years of probation.
The judge also imposed six months of home detention as well as ordering him to pay nearly $109,000 in restitution to a state-run urban renewal program Alshuaibi defrauded.
A federal grand jury first accused Alshuaibi last year in a six-count indictment of wire fraud, theft from local government receiving federal funds, and false and fraudulent statement.
Alshuaibi signed an agreement with the U.S. attorney’s office to give up his right to a jury trial and pleaded guilty last fall to wire fraud and theft charges in return for leniency.
Alshuaibi, doing business as International Equipment Supply Co., won contracts and began work in 2016 removing abandoned buildings from blighted Hammond neighborhoods.
He had agreed to dispose of demolition debris at legally regulated landfills.
The government alleges he instead had the debris dumped at “unknown sites” to avoid having to pay landfill fees.
The Times reported two years ago the South Holland firm dumped the debris in the dead of night into a Gary wetland that flows into the Grand Calumet River and Lake Michigan.
The government alleges Alshuaibi covered up his misconduct by submitting phony paperwork that he was following the program’s guidelines.
An anonymous tip launched a state investigation into the illegal dumping in 2017 that resulted in state felony charges still pending in Lake Criminal Court.
Defense attorney Michael P. Gillespie, of Chicago, described Alshuaibi, who obtained his American citizenship in 2004, as a devoted husband and caring father to his four children.