Hoffman Estates drug company CEO arrested, charged with wire fraud

The Hoffman Estates CEO of a pharmaceutical company was arrested Tuesday, accused of using $1.5 million from investors to support a lifestyle that included a lake house and yacht club dues.

Robert Tomlinson, CEO of Neurendo Pharma, allegedly told investors that the $1.5 million would be used to operate the company and market an experimental drug to treat Type 2 diabetes, according to a federal criminal complaint and affidavit. Instead, he allegedly spent most of the money on a lake house in Michigan, another property in Petoskey, Mich., a property in Washington, D.C., and golf and yacht club dues, according to court documents.

Court documents say Tomlinson told investors those investments would pay off once the company’s drug rights were purchased by a major pharmaceutical company.

Neurendo is a privately held Wisconsin corporation, with its principal place of business listed as a rented mailbox in Hoffman Estates, near Tomlinson’s home, according to the affidavit.

“The arrest was a complete and total surprise to us,” Tomlinson’s attorney, Michael Monico, said Tuesday. “Mr. Tomlinson has had no prior criminal record of any kind, and he’s been married for 37 years and is an upstanding member of the community.”

Federal agents arrested Tomlinson, 68, Tuesday morning, searched his Hoffman Estates home, and seized funds in one of his bank accounts.

He’s charged with one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

[email protected]

Twitter @lschencker

Copyright © 2017, Chicago Tribune

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