From the city that brought us Barack Obama.
Via Chicago Sun-Times:
The U.S. attorney’s office in Springfield has been busy the past few years investigating a variety of fraud schemes involving state grants. Thirteen people have been charged so far, six who have pleaded guilty.
Two of them have ties to President Barack Obama. One is the daughter of his controversial former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Another was chief of staff to Obama’s longtime friend Eric E. Whitaker when Whitaker was Illinois’ public health chief.
In all, prosecutors are alleging a total of $16 million in fraud involving state health or commerce department grants and contracts.
Here’s a brief look at each of the criminal cases that have been filed, which prosecutors built with help from the Chicago offices of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Internal Revenue Service, as well as from the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office’s inspector general:
Defendants: Former County Club Hills police Chief Regina R. Evans and her husband, Ronald W. Evans Jr., former inspector general for the south suburb
Filed: April 4, 2012
Charges: Conspiracy, wire fraud and money laundering
Details: The Evanses admitted spending about half of a $1.25 million commerce department grant on gifts for family members and friends and to pay off personal debt, including a mortgage on the New Regal Theater on Chicago’s South Side. State Sen. Donne Trotter (D-Chicago) helped the couple’s not-for-profit organization, We Are Our Brother’s Keeper, get that state grant, which was to be used for a job-training program that was part of theater restoration efforts. Trotter has not been charged.
Status: Regina Evans to be sentenced Oct. 15; Ronald Evans Dec. 2.
Defendant: Quinshaunta R. Golden, former Illinois Department of Public Health chief of staff
Filed: Aug. 7, 2013
Charges: Bribery/theft, mail fraud and obstruction of justice
Details: Golden, a niece of U.S. Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-Ill.), is accused of pocketing about $433,000 in kickbacks on health department contracts and grants that she oversaw. Her boss at the time, Obama’s friend Whitaker, has said he is cooperating with the investigation and “had no firsthand knowledge of the activities outlined in [Golden’s] indictment.”
Status: Trial set for Oct.