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Five Former U.S. Cellular Arena Officials Indicted

BLOOMINGTON (CelebrityAccess) — Five former members of the management team of the city-owned Grossinger Motors Arena (formerly U.S. Cellular Arena) have been indicted for a range of alleged crimes, including theft, wire fraud, money laundering and conspiracy to commit tax evasion.

According to the Pantagraph, the former arena officials who have been charged are John Y. Butler and Bart Rogers of Central Illinois Arena Management (CIAM), and their employees Jay C. Laesch, Paul E. Grazar and Kelly W. Klein.

Butler is facing forty-four charges, including theft of government funds after he allegedly took over $1.1 million in city funds between May 2010 and March 2016. He also faces multiple counts of money laundering, wire fraud, filing false sales tax returns, and conspiracy to commit tax evasion, the Pantagraph reported.

Rogers, formerly vice president and general manager of CIAM is facing 13 counts of theft of government funds. Kelly W. Klein, former assistant general manager for finance, has been charged with money laundering and theft.

Paul Grazar, former food and beverage director for CIAM, faces 13 charges of theft, money laundering, tax evasion and conspiracy to commit tax evasion.

Jay C. Laesch, 27, Heyworth, ex-finance director of BMI Concessions, which handled food and beverage concessions is facing the same charges as Butler.

The charges follow an 8-month-long investigation by Illinois State Police and the Illinois Department of Revenue into alleged mismanagement of funds at the arena and devolved from a previous investigation by Bloomington Police into an alleged conflict of interest at the venue.

“We have, and always will be, committed to seeing crimes committed against the city uncovered and prosecuted. We are appreciative to all those involved in the investigation. I am confident these serious allegations will be handled properly by the judicial system,” Bloomington's Mayor Pro Tem told the Pantagraph.

The Indiana State Police told the Pantagraph that the investigation is ongoing.