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That Lion is Friendly, But He's Not THAT Friendly

By Joanna Miller in News on Aug 17, 2006 7:57PM

2006_08_17harris.JPGEver had one of those friends who continually confuse you with their ability to live beyond their means? We’re guessing Jacques L. Antoine had a lot of people scratching their heads over his spending habits. As a mortgage loan originator for Harris Bank, Antoine made $48,500 a year. A decent salary, but not one that would allow him to buy a $1.6 million home in Florida. And yet, that’s exactly what he did. He also bought eight Chicago properties between 1998 and 2004 and spent “hundreds of thousands of dollars on boats and cars.”

We’d hoped the 58-year-old, formerly of Naperville, could teach us a thing or two about budgeting and saving, but it seems he just stole it all from the bank. Antoine was arrested at his Florida home Wednesday for allegedly embezzling nearly $14 million from Harris.

Antoine retired in 2004, but the investigation began last month after an auditor at Harris’ parent company, Bank of Montreal, reported a “suspicious debit balance” that exceeded $13.9 million in an account used to finance employee relocations.

The balance was traced to Chicago and to Antoine. He was scheduled to appear in a Miami court today, but will be tried in Chicago. He faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million if convicted.