Pre-sentence investigation report filed under seal in Bathon's case

By Bethany Krajelis | Jul 1, 2013

A pre-sentence investigation report has been filed in the criminal case against former Madison County Treasurer Fred Bathon.

The report-- which is sealed and noted as "initial"--was filed Friday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, according to electronic court records.

The filing of the sealed report marks the first docket entry in Bathon’s case in more than two months.

In February, Bathon plead guilty to violating the Sherman Antitrust Act and was convicted of structuring the county's property tax sales in a way that eliminated competitive bidding and allowed tax buyers to engage in price fixing.

Bathon, who served as treasurer from 1998 until his 2009 resignation, faces between 33 and 41 months in prison under the terms of his plea. He will also lose his entire public pension as a result of his conviction.

He asked Chief Judge David Herndon in April to continue his May 21 sentencing hearing so he could continue to cooperate with the government.

Herndon granted Bathon’s request and reset his sentencing for 9 a.m. August 30.

The government in February asked Herndon for an order determining that it would be “impracticable” to calculate the losses of individuals who may have been victimized by the tax sales scheme.

Herndon granted that request in an April 22 order, which marked the last docket entry in Bathon’s case until late last week, when the pre-sentence investigation report was filed under seal.

These reports are required under Rule 23 of the Federal Code of Criminal Procedure.

Submitted by a probation officer, these reports are used to help the judge determine the most appropriate sentence.

Rule 23 requires these reports to include the following information: all applicable guidelines and policy statements of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, a calculation of the defendant’s offense level and criminal history category and the sentencing range, as well as available sentences.

These reports must also contain additional information, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, history and financial condition, as well as any circumstances affecting the defendant’s behavior that could be useful in imposing a sentence and any information assessing the financial, social, psychological and medical impact on victims.

Bathon has 14 days from the date of filing to object to the report.

Belleville attorney Clyde Kuehn represents Bathon and Steven D. Weinhoeft, an assistant U.S. attorney in Fairview Heights, represents the government.

In addition to his criminal case, Bathon has been named a defendant in at least three civil suits over his handling of the county’s delinquent tax sales.

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