Saturday, December 15, 2007

Indictments in the Northern District of Illinois

It may be snowy and icy in Chicago these days, but Patrick J. Fitzgerald, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois,  has been keeping things pretty hot when it comes to prosecuting people. His latest this week may at first blush seem like an simple tax fraud charge as he states in his press release that "[a] suburban businessman was indicted today on federal tax fraud charges for allegedly understating his true personal and business income by more than $1.3 million over five years, in part by concealing the use of corporate funds for personal expenses including gambling debts to sports bookmakers." 

But the Chicago Tribune points out that these charges, charges that the government will be required to prove to sustain this criminal case, just happen to be against a person close to the governor, this time Gov. Rod Blagojevich.  The Chicago Tribune also notes that others around the governor also seem to be having some legal problems. (see here)  Attorney Michael Monico, representing the individual indicted on the tax charges aptly points out that there is nothing related to politics in the indictment.  And looking at the document, this proves accurate. But the indictment does raise a few eyebrows.  For one it hardly seems like a simple tax case when there are 12 counts and a forfeiture action, and when there are words in the indictment like bookmaking, sports wagers, 2 pizza companies, Vegas, Saudi Arabia, and yes, Florida.  It may not be politics, but one has to wonder how much time and energy the government put into investigating this case.

(esp)

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