Mark Bixby, the former Energy Director for the City of Rockford, pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of mail fraud.
Bixby admitted to defrauding a heating contractor and window contractor that did work for the Energy Division between December 2006 and March 2010. He's accused of defrauding them out of $53,101.33 in funds and benefits.
While serving as Energy Director, Bixby led the Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program in Winnebago and Boone counties, which provided low-income residents with repairs and replacements of heating systems, windows, and doors.
Bixby admitted in court to causing the contractors to give him funds and benefits through false representations and pretenses. Those items included the use of a new 2007 red convertible Pontiac Solstice, a total of $18,440 in donations to charities that was instead deposited into bank accounts controlled by Bixby and a relative and used to pay personal expenses, $2,980 for the sale of cemetery plots by Bixby to the heating contractor that Bixby never turned over the titles or deeds for, and a $2,000 loan from the window contractor that Bixby never repaid.
Bixby is scheduled to be sentenced on March 3. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, or an alternate fine of twice the loss or twice the gain, whichever is greater, plus restitution.
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