By JILLIAN DUCHNOWSKI – firstname.lastname@example.org
December 15, 2009
WOODSTOCK – A judge found Monday that prosecutors had reasonable cause to question where a 35-year-old Palatine man accused of running a large-scale marijuana growing operation got his $10,000 bond.
McHenry County Judge Joseph Condon will conduct a hearing on the source of Phillip Koeckritz’s bond in two weeks. Prosecutors allege the money came from the illegal production and distribution of marijuana, and Koeckritz has said the majority was a loan from his wealthy father.
Koeckritz has pleaded not guilty to multiple felony charges in connection with a McHenry house where police found 1,438 plants with an estimated street value of $1.5 million in January. Police also have said they believed he and another man ran similar operations in other rented homes in three counties.
Koeckritz said in court documents that Julie Kawako of Roselle obtained $800 by pawning a diamond bracelet and a watch and $1,440 by selling gold jewelry and coins. He filed a receipt and claim check, as well as a letter from his father, George B. Koeckritz, stating that his father loaned him $8,000.
“McHenry County sheriff’s detectives are investigating [Koeckritz’ explanations] not only by reviewing the paperwork but by conducting interviews,” Assistant State’s Attorney Kirk Chrzanowski said.
Kawako posted the $10,000 bail for Koeckritz on Nov. 18, about a week after Condon refused Koeckritz’ request to halve the bail amount. Koeckritz also had requested and received a special public defender after indicating he had no real estate, about $13,000 in credit-card debt and no cars.
But Koeckritz’ attorney, George Kililis, said prosecutors knew the defendant’s father owned a large international home-improvement manufacturing company and a $16.9 million home in Florida. Kililis said prosecutors’ questioning the father’s loan was “disingenuous.”
“It makes perfect sense,” Kililis said. “He’s his father. He’s very wealthy. He gave him the money.”
Condon set the hearing for Dec. 28.