I-Team

Intelligence Report: Aurora business owner in federal custody after 2 weeks on the lam

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

In this Intelligence Report: a northwest suburban business owner is in federal custody after authorities say he went on the lam for two weeks after learning of his fraud indictment. And the I-Team has learned it isn't the first time.

Robert Durchslag and his industrial roofing company were troubled by a slew of lawsuits, customer complaints and -- as of August 16 -- a federal grand jury indictment for fraud.

When the FBI showed up at his headquarters in Elgin, authorities say Durschlag gave them the slip, something the I-Team has learned he first tried almost 15 years ago.

It was in Parkland, Florida, December 1999, that police chased a car going 100 mph. Inside were Robert Durchslag, his wife and their two children ages 1 and 3. Durchslag had been on the run for five months from Wisconsin, where he and his wife were wanted on child abuse charges.

Now, years later and that case behind him, Durschlag was operating a suburban roofing company that claims to have done work on the U.S. Capitol and Buckingham Palace among numerous national and Chicago landmarks.

According to federal court records, Durschlag cheated a roofing supplier of nearly $2 million in materials. He is charged with inflating the company's bank balance by $2.8 million to obtain credit then failing to pay supplier bills.

Durchslag said he couldn't pay because he had fallen victim to a $17.8 million embezzlement, but claimed he had a $2 billion deal with NASA coming due soon, both of which were lies, according to the grand jury indictment.

When FBI agents raided his Elgin headquarters last month, they say security cameras gave them away-- that Durchslag saw them coming and got away.

Two weeks later, on Chicago's Magnificent Mile, federal authorities say they found Durchslag hiding out in a swank Michigan Avenue hotel, and arrested him, bringing the latest odyssey to an end.

Fifty-six-year-old Durchslag has been in custody since last Wednesday, although the U.S. attorney just announced the arrest Tuesday.

The Aurora resident is now in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago and scheduled for a detention hearing Thursday afternoon.

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