Ex-DuPage Forest Employees Charged with $150K Theft, District Sues to Recover Money

We reported on a possible forest preserve scandal several days ago, when the FBI joined the investigation, and now the state's attorney's office of DuPage County has officially charged two former forest preserve employees and their independent accomplice with stealing almost $150,000 from the taxpayer-funded Forest Preserve District of DuPage County.

The employees were both part of the Information Technology department at the forest preserve. The 53-year-old director Mark McDonald (far left, above), was arrested at a Chicago airport last Wednesday on his way back from Florida, and a 49-year-old manager, David Tepper (center, above), has also been charged.

They're accused of setting up a consulting company with a third man, Arif Mahmood (far right, above), and then illegally steering taxpayer-funded forest preserve contracts towards their own company without any competing bids, which allowed them to rake in nearly $150,000.

A day after the charges were filed, the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County filed a civil lawsuit to recoup the money that was stolen.

In addition to the $150,000 in stolen funds, the forest preserve also spent $61,000 on their own internal investigation.

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