Former Republic Windows boss arrested in fraud case

  • By Peter Sachs
  • Staff Writer
  • September 10, 2009 @ 9:00 AM

The president of now-defunct Republic Windows and Doors is in jail today, accused of stealing manufacturing equipment from the Goose Island plant to open a non-union factory in Iowa.

The arrest of Richard Gillman comes six months after an exclusive Daily News article detailed the removal of equipment from the Chicago plant. The article raised questions about the transactions that led Gillman to take over the Red Oak, Iowa, plant, which was subsequently closed amidst lawsuits and recriminations. 

Gillman was arrested at 8am yesterday at his condominium near the Magnificent Mile, according to charging documents.

He faces charges of one count each of laundering more than $500,000, fraud insolvency of more than $500,000, financial crime and conspiracy of more than $100,000, and theft with intent to control more than $500,000. He is also being charged with mail fraud, wire fraud and some other felony counts, according to charging documents.

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office of public corruption and financial crimes, along with the Chicago Police Department’s financial crimes task force, had been investigating Gillman and his business dealings for several months. Investigators traveled to Red Oak, Iowa, earlier this summer and interviewed several former Echo Windows employees, two people in Red Oak said last night.

Court records say Gillman established a separate business, Echo Windows & Doors, LLC.

Echo "received manufacturing equipment transported within three semi-trailers belonging to Republic Windows & Doors, LLC, without the approval of the board of directors an the creditors," documents say.

There is evidence that "the arrestee committed acts including organizing, supervising and participating in a conspiracy to conceal and obtain collateral belonging to Republic Windows & Doors, LLC," the court records say.