Ill. Former Alderman Sentenced to 13 Years in Federal Prison

A former alderman in the Metro East community of Waterloo was sentenced Monday to 13 years in federal prison for arranging to have his pizza restaurant burned in 2003 to collect insurance money.

U.S. District Judge William Stiehl also ordered Michael Augustine, 40, to pay $190,000 in restitution.

Augustine pleaded guilty Aug. 30 to two federal counts each of wire fraud, mail fraud and witness intimidation, as well as one count of using fire to commit a felony. Conspiracy and arson charges were dropped under a plea deal with prosecutors.

The charges relate to the August 2003 fire at his Pop ‘n Pizza restaurant, the Cahokia business he had bought three months earlier.

In 2004, a friend of Augustine’s pleaded guilty to arson.

Augustine, who was indicted last year, lost his Waterloo City Council seat in April.

Stiehl on Monday allowed Augustine to remain free until the U.S. Marshal’s Service sets a date for him to report to federal prison, not expected before at least Jan. 3, a worker in Stiehl’s office said.

After serving his prison time, Augustine must spent three years on supervised release.