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Man charged in fraud scheme appears in court

CHICAGO --  A local contractor accused of stealing millions of dollars from elderly Chicagoans faced a judge Thursday.

Mark Diamond is accused of making more than 10 million dollars in a reverse mortgage and home repair scheme that targeted the elderly.  There are 122 alleged victims. They are all African American, most are women and most are in their 80s.  Some of the victims are now deceased.

Federal prosecutors say Diamond ignored a previous judge’s  court order and continued to scam the elderly as well as drivers of a fake Lyft business he started.

Diamond couldn’t stay quiet during the proceedings and interrupted Judge Jeffrey Cole and his attorney several times.

Diamond wanted to speak for himself.  Judge Cole told him he could if he were put under oath which would leave him open to cross examination by the prosecutor.

Judge Cole said “You would be a fool.  I shouldn’t say that.  You would be foolish beyond measure.”

The alleged victims say he should not get bail.

The judge ordered diamond held until tomorrow, when he is expected to rule whether Diamond should be released on bond.