The United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced that Max R. Schauf, 56, currently the mayor of Bridgeport, and Paul R. Kramer, 62, of Vincennes, Indiana, were arraigned today in federal district court in Benton on federal charges.
The indictment, returned on November 6, 2012, and previously held under seal, alleges that from July 2008 until March 2011, Max Schauf engaged in a scheme to defraud the city of Bridgeport by submitting false and fraudulent invoices, contracts, and bills for services and equipment, all from which he took a portion of money for his personal use. Paul Kramer is alleged to have made false statements to agents investigating the scheme.
The indictment charges Mayor Schauf with three counts of mail fraud and one count of obstruction of justice. The potential punishments for each charge include a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release.
The indictment charges Kramer with two counts of making false statements to federal officers. Each charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release.
An indictment is a formal charge against a defendant. Under the law, a defendant is presumed to be innocent of a charge and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case was investigated by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Ranley R. Killian and Liam Coonan.