A few months passed and Schilling’s team hadn’t received the prize promised by event organizer Kenny Stein. Phone calls and e-mails were unreturned. Then someone from another contest team told Schilling to google the name Kenny Arron, a.k.a. Stein. The results were an eye-opener.
First, there was the headline from a September 2010 Chicago Breaking News story: “Cops: Man faked identity to take over historic theater.” Park Forest police made a traffic stop and cited the man behind the wheel for using a suspended license and driving without insurance. The driver gave his name as Kenny Arron. But the officer recognized the man as Kenny Yochelson, manager of the Holiday Star Theater. Arron had applied for a business license under the assumed name to hide his arrest record. He had served 18 years in prison on various fraud convictions, the story said.
The blog eNews Park Forest dug a little deeper (and included photos of Arron). In 2004, he was convicted of forgery and sentenced to three years’ probation in Ohio for pledging more than $200,000 to a handful of nonprofit organizations and never paying up. Through a fake charitable organization he claimed to run, Arron promised $19,000 to fund scholarships to an art museum’s kids summer camp. “You are a fraud,” the judge at Arron’s sentencing was quoted as saying. “You raised people’s expectations and then took them away.”
- New Owner Has Big Plans for Park Forest’s Holiday Star Movie Theater
- Interview with Kenny Yochelson of Park Forest’s Holiday Star Theater (Video)
- Kenneth Arron’s life of lies and trail of deception ends here (Cincinnati Enquirer)
- Hyde Park con man gets probation (Cincinnati Enquirer)
- Statement from the Holiday Star Theater
- Holiday Star Theater Eager to Move On