CHICAGO — A Portage lawyer licensed to practice in Illinois has been convicted on federal fraud charges for scheming to provide falsified documents to prevent foreclosure on a nearly $2 million parcel of land in Aurora, Illinois. The fraud left an elderly couple out of $300,000.

The jury in federal court in Chicago convicted Robert Jon Schlyer, 47, of two counts of wire fraud affecting a financial institution and one count of bank fraud.

Schlyer’s fraud scheme occurred while representing two clients — co-schemers Kevin LeBeau and Brian Bodie — in connection with a foreclosure lawsuit. Evidence at trial revealed Schlyer provided false and fraudulent documents to an elderly couple and Amcore Bank in order to postpone foreclosure on the Aurora property.

The jury returned the guilty verdicts Oct. 6 after a four-day trial. U.S. District Judge Amy J. St. Eve set sentencing for Jan. 31. Each count carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.

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The conviction was announced by Joel R. Levin, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and John P. Selleck, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Part of the scheme that began in 2004 included Schlyer obtaining $300,000 from the retired couple by providing them with fake documents that made it seem like they were making a safe investment in the redevelopment of the Aurora property and that it would be secured by a trust. 

Eventually the foreclosure occurred, and the property was sold in 2010 at a significant loss to the bank.

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Lake County reporter

Rob covers urban affairs and other matters in Crown Point, St. John, Winfield and beyond. Previously he covered Valparaiso, Hammond, Gary and East Chicago. He's also written for various magazines and pens a culture blog for The Times.