Player in Alorton corruption probe gets 2 years in federal pen

News-DemocratJanuary 9, 2014 

Former police officer and Alorton businessman Harry Adam Halter Jr., who is better known to his friends as "Dink" will spend two years in federal prison for stealing village funds and evading taxes.

Halter was sentenced Thursday in East St. Louis by U.S. District Judge Michael J. Reagan. After the sentencing hearing, he allowed Halter to remain free on bond until he is contacted by federal authorities to turn himself in.

Halter pleaded with Reagan to be lenient in sentencing him. "I ask for your leniency. Give me probation," he said. Halter said he had family and a granddaughter that he was responsible for. "If you take me away from my business, my business would be closed. It would do more damage and hurt more people," he said.

Halter owns Town and Country Towing in Alorton and was part of the FBI investigation into the corruption investigation by former Mayor Randy McCallum and Police Chief Michael Baxton. He was also a Fairmont City police officer. He also had a paid position as a trustee of the Commonfields of Cahokia Public Water District.

As owner of Town and Country Towing, Halter hired a number of tow truck drivers, office personnel and mechanics. On average he had four full-time and a number of part-time employees that he paid in cash at an hourly rate.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Weinhoeft, who prosecuted the case, said payroll taxes were not calculated or withheld from the employee, and they were not reported or paid to the Internal Revenue Service. As a result Halter owes the IRS more than $120,000.

Halter received $25,000 from the village's tax increment financing funds to put a fence around his business, but instead used most of the money for himself and to pay marina fees for his boat. He gave McCallum some of the money ($800) as a kickback, according to the FBI.

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