State

Bridgeport mayor admits defrauding his town

BENTON — The mayor of a southeastern Illinois town faces up to 80 years in federal prison and $1 million in fines now that he's admitted using bogus invoices to skim money from his community.

Fifty-six-year-old Bridgeport Mayor Max Schauf pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Benton to three counts of mail fraud and one count of obstructing justice.

Schauf admitted he submitted false invoices, contracts and bills to the town for services and equipment, then took a portion of money from all of them for his personal use.

It's unclear how much money Schauf is accused of stealing though the scheme, which investigators say began in July 2008 and ended in March 2011.

Schauf was charged last November.

Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 8.

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