Steve Beckett | WGLT

Steve Beckett

Arena exterior
Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

The Coliseum fraud case is nearing an end.

Lead defendant John Butler pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count on Tuesday that will require him to pay the City of Bloomington and State of Illinois around $450,000 in restitution. Butler’s concessions company, BMI, also pleaded guilty to one felony count of theft.

John and Steve
Lewis Marien / The Pantagraph (Pool)

Nearly three years after being indicted, the lead defendant in the Coliseum fraud case agreed Tuesday to pay more than $430,000 in restitution to the City of Bloomington after pleading guilty to a single misdemeanor theft charge.

John Butler in court
David Proeber / The Pantagraph (Pool)

The lead defendant in the Coliseum fraud case will not be going on trial this week after all.

John Butler in court
David Proeber / The Pantagraph (Pool)

For the past 16 months, lawyers for lead Coliseum defendant John Butler have stayed relatively quiet in the media as his criminal case inched its way through the justice system.

John Butler in court
David Proeber / The Pantagraph (Pool)

An attorney for the lead defendant in the Coliseum fraud case claims that prosecutors are trying to “criminalize” a contract dispute between the City of Bloomington and its former arena managers, arguing the charges should be dismissed.

Arena exterior
Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

The lead defendant in the Coliseum fraud case claims police investigators engaged in “prosecutor-shopping” before his indictment, suggesting the case was so weak federal prosecutors wouldn’t take it.