Kenneth Arron speaks to the Village Board in March 2010, identifying himself as ‘Kenny Yochelson.’ (Photo: ENEWSPF)
Updated at 11:42 a.m. with more video.
Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)– In the 1957 musical The Music Man, Professor Harold Hill arrives by train in River City Iowa and begins to work his a scam convincing parents he can teach their children music. At the end of the comedy when Hill’s fraud is exposed, parents and the town forgive Hill when they hear their children attempt to play Beethoven’s Minuet in G.
Officials in Park Forest are not laughing, however, at the fraud allegedly committed by Kenneth Arron, who represented himself to the community as Kenny Yochelson.
According to a press release from the Village of Park Forest, criminal charges were filed today against the operator of Holiday Star Theater in Park Forest.
Kenny Arron, who had presented himself as Kenny Yochelson since first approaching Park Forest officials in January about taking over the then‐Eagle Theater, was arrested Monday, the release said.
A routine license plate check of the vehicle Arron was driving came back registered to Holiday Star Theater, but with a Lombard address where no theater of that name existed, according to the release. When police investigated the residence where the vehicle was registered, no one of the last name Yochelson was found to have lived there, the release said. Police did locate record of a Kenneth at the address, but with the last name Arron. After being pulled over by Park Forest Police Monday morning, Kenneth Arron quickly admitted his legal name was not Kenny Yochelson ‐‐ the name many in Park Forest including police knew him to have gone by, and was taken into custody, the release said.
At the time of the traffic stop, Arron was driving on a suspended license and without insurance, according to the release.
When questioned as to why he was using a name he had not legally taken on, Arron allegedly related to officers that he had assumed the name Kenny Yochelson out of fear his criminal background would prevent him from doing business in the area.
Police say public records show that Kenneth Arron has served several prison sentences, stemming from various fraud convictions. He was last released in 2004 and has spent a total of at least 18 years in prison, the release said.