Glenwood firm, auditor declare bankruptcy
BY CASEY TONER firstname.lastname@example.org July 20, 2012 10:50PM
Updated: August 23, 2012 6:02AM
A Glenwood auditing firm that does business with Monee, Riverdale, Harvey and other municipalities recently declared bankruptcy, claiming it is millions of dollars in debt, court records show.
Letke & Associates filed for bankruptcy in June in Chicago, claiming more than $9.7 million in outstanding debts as well as listing pending lawsuits that are seeking millions of dollars in damages.
The owner of the firm, Joseph T. Letke Jr., declared personal bankruptcy in May, claiming $2.8 million in assets and $25 million in liabilities.
Among other debts, the firm claimed it owed $8,429 in credit card payments to Dell Business; $30,000 to Dell Computer Corp.; $44,000 to Canon Financial Services for furniture; $40,000 to Martin Whalen Office Solutions for a copier; $100,000 to the Internal Revenue Service for payroll taxes and $54,000 to Ascension Capital Group for a 2010 BMW sedan, according to court records.
Cezary and Eva Jakubowski filed a lawsuit against the firm claiming they are owed $4 million, and Rob Carlson and Mark Carlson also claim they are owed $4 million by the company. Old Second National Bank of Aurora said the firm owes it $70,000 for a broken lease, among other allegations, court records show.
Also listed in the documents is a lawsuit the City of Country Club Hills filed against the auditor in Cook County Circuit Court, claiming the city paid Letke & Associates $130,380 in June 2011 to perform an audit, but the firm never completed the work and delayed responding to the city, citing personal and health problems, the lawsuit says.
Country Club Hills attorney John Murphey said Letke’s bankruptcy filing leaves the outcome of the city’s lawsuit in the hands of the bankruptcy court.
Letke did not respond to multiple messages left by the SouthtownStar seeking comment.
Several municipalities that employ the firm were unaware of its financial troubles, including Harvey, where Letke & Associates served as the comptroller.
“These are tough economic times where businesses are suffering globally and it is unfortunate that Mr. Letke is experiencing economic hardships,” Harvey Mayor Eric Kellogg wrote in a statement. “We ... hope that this will afford Letke & Associates the opportunity to reorganize and restructure the business and continue to provide the city with exceptional services.”
Monee village administrator David Wallace said the company provides audits for the village.
“Who wouldn’t be concerned at this point?” Wallace said recently when he learned of the suit.
Letke & Associates also is helping with a study that Calumet Park, Robbins, Harvey, Alsip, Markham, Midlothian and Blue Island are conducting to determine the feasibility of getting Lake Michigan water from Whiting, Ind. Letke still is doing the bookkeeping for the Joint Action Water Agency, Midlothian Mayor Terry Stephens said Friday.
In his personal bankruptcy filing, Letke claimed he owes $3.5 million to Archer Bank for a loan for an apartment complex in Glenwood; $896,080 to Old Second National Bank for a loan on a house in Frankfort; $1.9 million to MB Financial Bank for a loan for Florida property; $11 million to MB Financial bank for a loan for a property in New Buffalo, Mich.; and $100,000 in back child support.