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Final Intrust payout on horizon

The door offices former Independent Trust Corp. OrlPark is shown this file photo. | File photo

The door to the offices of the former Independent Trust Corp. in Orland Park is shown in this file photo. | File photo

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Updated: July 11, 2014 6:20AM



More than 14 years after Independent Trust Corp. in Orland Park imploded, a victim of massive thievery by its two top officers, nearly $5 million owed thousands of customers could soon be released.

The state-appointed receiver overseeing Intrust since its collapse in April 2000 says it will seek court approval to make a final distribution to account holders, saying efforts to collect any more cash have all but been exhausted.

In a report filed Friday in Cook County Circuit Court, the receiver, PricewaterhouseCoopers, said it’s preparing legal documents seeking authorization for the payout, but how soon the money would be disbursed is unclear. The receiver said it would post updates at www.intrust.com.

Intrust was seized by regulators after about $68 million that was to be held in customer accounts was discovered missing.

The two men who controlled Intrust went to federal prison for looting nearly $100 million from the trust company as well as another company they controlled. Although ordered to make restitution for the stolen funds, the few assets that remained that could be liquidated barely made a dent in what had been plundered from customer accounts.

From offices on 94th Avenue just south of Orland Square Mall, Intrust was caretaker for roughly $1.7 billion in trust assets for some 20,000 customers. The firm’s collapse was the first failure of a trust company in Illinois since the Great Depression and has become the biggest trust company liquidation in state history.

Thousands of Intrust customers had their accounts levied to make up for the missing funds. A cushion was built into the levy in case some accounts couldn’t be collected on, resulting in more money being collected than was needed to cover the shortfall.

About $17 million in surplus funds were doled out to account holders in 2003. PricewaterhouseCoopers had said it would delay disbursing the remaining money, $4.85 million, until legal avenues were exhausted.

The process of making the payout is also costly, and Intrust has limited cash available, the receiver has noted.

In last week’s court filing, the receiver said a court ruling in April on one case went against Intrust. Although an appeal is planned, the “process may be lengthy and the outcome uncertain,” prompting the decision to move ahead with the final payout of withheld funds, according to the document.

Much of the money stolen from Intrust went to real estate deals, investments in junk bonds and business ventures, some of which went sour.

The money also helped finance luxurious lifestyles for Intrust’s two top officials — Laurence Capriotti, a former Frankfort attorney, and Jack Hargrove, who developed real estate in the Southland — who each were sentenced in 2006 to 14 years in prison.



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