13May/140

Was giving “FBI informant” John Thomas TIF money legal?

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Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief

We all know that giving convicted felon and "FBI informant" John Thomas tax increment financing (TIF) funds was a colossally stupid thing to do.

But the real question is: was it legal?

John Thomas, who is best known for wearing a wire for the feds in the cases against Tony Rezko and Ald. Ike Carothers, is in federal custody for stealing 370K of TIF money from the village of Riverdale IL.

Chicago Sun-Times
Feds arrest former mole in Rezko, Carothers cases
BY NATASHA KORECKI AND KIM JANSSEN Staff Reporters April 18, 20

Smooth-talking felon John Thomas once said the thing he loved about Chicago was, it was “the most forgiving” place for a convicted crook.

He’d better hope so.

The 51-year-old real estate developer — who got a second chance at life and dodged a prison term by wearing a wire against disgraced political fundraiser Tony Rezko as well as former Ald. Ike Carothers — has been up to his old tricks, federal prosecutors say.

Arrested at dawn on Good Friday at his downtown condo, Thomas stole $370,000 from the south suburban village of Riverdale that was meant for the development of Riverdale Marina, a federal indictment alleges.

Continue reading .... Feds arrest former mole in Rezko, Carothers cases

OK. It's no real surprise that a habitual criminal like Thomas would steal a pile of money put right in front of him.

But who in their right mind would put a pile of taxpayer money in front of a convicted felon knowing full well that he would steal it?

That kind of stupidity can't be legal!

After initially pleading not guilty to all charges against him, Thomas has abruptly changed his mind and will plead guilty on May 16.

So what's up? Did Thomas make another deal with the feds? Are there more arrests to follow in the Riverdale Marina scam?

But when feds were asked these questions, they refused to comment.

The U.S. Attorney's office also refuses to explain why it allowed John Thomas' three-year probation from his previous felony conviction to be terminated after only one year.

Is it just a coincidence that Thomas had his probation terminated two years early, which allowed him the opportunity to steal taxpayer money in the Riverdale Marina deal?

Why would the feds allow this?

One thing is for sure. If Thomas' sentence of probation was not prematurely terminated in 2011, his problems today would be exponentially greater.

To start, he would be facing much longer prison time.

Clearly there is more going on here than meets the eye....

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18Nov/120

Rezko Update: Mystery man’s true identity revealed

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 Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief

He's Dr. Ronald Michael, aka John Doe

And, it appears the Chicago Sun Times used the picture of Dr. Ronald Michael and George W. Bush that was taken at a 2003 Tony Rezko-sponsored fundraiser in Chicago in a full page article.

The Watchdogs.pdf



While this story unfolds ponder these questions:

(1) Why would the Sun Times eliminate President Bush from the picture?

(2) Why would Democrat Gov. Rod Blagojevich's right-hand man and convicted bagman sponsor a fundraiser for Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush?

(3) Why would Rezko co-sponsor a fundraiser for George W. Bush at the same time he is backing Barack Obama's political career? And, wait, wasn't the man that co-sponsored this event with Rezko a buddy of Karl Rove?

(4) Where was U.S Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald when all of this was going on right under his nose?

(5) What could Nadhmi Auchi's guy, Antoin "Tony" Rezko, tell us about all this? 

Developing story.......

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2Oct/120

Update: Obama associate Daniel S Mahru sentence delayed until after election.

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Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief, Illinois PayToPlay

 Update;

The Department of Justice will not disclose Daniel S. Mahru's probation deal publicly until after the Presidential election.

 Mr. Mahru was scheduled to be sentenced on Oct 4, however to no surprise to anyone paying attention, that date has now been reset to November 15.

-

Are reporters at the Chicago Tribune and Sun Times covering this scandal, or are they drafting fairy tale books about it?

Origninal post  9-20-12
DoJ silences Obama associate Daniel S  Mahru with his freedom
-
Ernie Souchak, Etidor-in-Chief, Illinois PayToPlay
-

llinoispaytoplay.com (IP2P) has learned that Daniel S. Mahruformer business partner of Antoin "Tony" Rezko, made a deal with the Department of Justice (DoJ) for his silence. IP2P is the first to report that on, October 4 2012, Daniel S. Mahru will receive probation at his sentencing hearing.

 

IP2P has also learned that this is being done to insure Mahru will not speak of crimes, of which he has knowledge, that implicate Barack Obama, Valarie Jarrett, Allison Davis, Tony Rezko and others. (Remember Tony recently saying he committed crimes for which Fitzgerald did not charge him.)

 

IP2P is also investigating the circumstances surrounding meetings that took place where Daniel T Frawley and Daniel S Mahru (both convicted felons) met with author Jerome Corsi in Chicago to discuss secret meetings between Barack Obama, Nadhmi Auchi, Tony Rezko, (now GovernorPat Quinn, and others.

 

Mahru is unwilling to talk about what was discussed at those meetings. Could that have anything to do with his probation deal?

 

The DoJ and (now formerU.S Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald protected Eric Holder, Barack Obama and a host of other criminals that occupy high offices in our state and federal government.

 

Brenda J Elliot at rbo2.com recently posted an article suggesting how important Mahrus silence is to the DoJ.  

 

Where's that special prosecutor when you need him?

 

Developing


 

 

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20Sep/120

DoJ silences Obama associate Daniel S. Mahru with his freedom

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 Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief, Illinois PayToPlay

Illinoispaytoplay.com (IP2P) has learned that Daniel S. Mahruformer business partner of Antoin "Tony" Rezko, made a deal with the Department of Justice (DoJ) for his silence. IP2P is the first to report that on, October 4 2012, Daniel S. Mahru will receive probation at his sentencing hearing.

 

IP2P has also learned that this is being done to insure Mahru will not speak of crimes, of which he has knowledge, that implicate Barack Obama, Valarie Jarrett, Allison Davis, Tony Rezko and others. (Remember Tony recently saying he committed crimes for which Fitzgerald did not charge him.)

 

IP2P is also investigating the circumstances surrounding meetings that took place where Daniel T Frawley and Daniel S Mahru (both convicted felons) met with author Jerome Corsi in Chicago to discuss secret meetings between Barack Obama, Nadhmi Auchi, Tony Rezko, (now GovernorPat Quinn, and others.

 

Mahru is unwilling to talk about what was discussed at those meetings. Could that have anything to do with his probation deal?

 

The DoJ and (now formerU.S Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald protected Eric Holder, Barack Obama and a host of other criminals that occupy high offices in our state and federal government.

 

Brenda J Elliot at rbo2.com recently posted an article suggesting how important Mahrus silence is to the DoJ.  

 

Where's that special prosecutor when you need him?

 

Developing

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23Jun/120

What does George Weaver know about 400k Tony Rezko paid to Obama ?

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Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief, Illinois PayToPlay

Tony Rezko's partner Daniel T Frawley shared this letter he wrote to his attorney with Robert Cooley. In this letter Mr. Frawley claims his ex-attorney George Weaver can confirm that he (Frawley) provided cash for Tony Rezko to payoff Barack Obama !  Patrick Fitzgerald's replacement will need to take a look at this.

Perhaps Congressman Joe Walsh will also take notice ? (Special Counsel?)

As for the Chicago SunTimes and the Chicago Tribune, maybe if we hold our breath ?

 

---------- Forwarded message ----------

From: Dan Frawley <Address withheld>
Date: Mon, Jun 13, 2011 at 11:05 AM
Subject: Weaver
To: robert XXXXX <Robert Cooley's email address withheld>

Mark

Here is Weaver's real concern and this is fact not opinion.
Weaver told my sister Kathleen and I this story at his (Weaver's) office
Weaver then repeated the same story to Jeffrey Steinbach a couple of days
later when Weaver called Jeff before Weaver
met with USAO Caroline McNiven and FBI supervisor Pat Murphy.
Weaver then went in and told the same story to the USAO.
Weaver then called me immediately after leaving the USAO office. (Within 5
minutes via pay phone)
Jeff then confirmed to me what Weaver told the USAO after speaking with the
USAO.

Weaver's Explanation in first person:

I did not tell the USAA about the alleged payment from TR to BO because I
was afraid.
I was afraid that all of the news coverage would bring reporters to my door
and they would camp out there.
I was afraid I would be labeled a racist and Dan and Kathy you know I am not
political at all.
I was especially worried about the affect this would have on my son Michael.
I did this to Protect my family and myself from the publicity.

NOW here is the part that George lied to Jeff and the USAO to.
George told them (USA) & Jeff) that he George had a drink with me at the bar in George's office building. (121 N. La Salle St.)George said he told me then and there what Tony Rezko told George regarding BO and the alleged payoff. George Said that the reason for doing so was to hold this information out incase I did not get a good deal from the USAO then George could use this info as the last turn of the screw on TR and get me the best deal. George said that no one would believe me if I did not recall the story George’s way and that my sister and brother would also be indicted

George then went to Jeff and the USAO that story

I had already met with the USAO with Jeff and told the true story. I
originally went along with Weaver’s story because I was worried about my
brother and sister, but after about 10 days I went with Steinbach and
straightened out the misunderstandings. never knew whom TR gave the cash to
all I knew is Weaver Said the money went in cash in plastic grocery sacks to high elected
official. I always assumed it was Rod.

Jeff told me that the USAO knew Weaver lied to them and that USAO has
nothing but disgust and disdain for Weaver.
Jeff said the USAO could charge Weaver with Conspiracy, lying to the FBI and
obstruction of justice.
Of course we do not care about the criminal aspect but the civil

Government law enforcement people can testify to weaver' lying and
malpractice

Were we also have weaver is Weaver told his wife Janice and his mother in
law what happened with BO & TR

We can depose Weavers wife and mother in law.
Weaver was so worried abut involving his family this or the threat of it
along with the publicity is Weaver's Achilles heal.

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8May/120

Daniel T. Frawley details Rezko investigation: “I taped Buddy the night before his 2nd to last Federal Grand Jury appearance.”

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Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief, Illinois PayToPlay

DEVELOPING STORY:

Will the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune completely disregard their responsibilities and ignore this story ?

From: "Ernie Souchak" <email address withheld>
To: "John Barron" <jbarron@suntimes.com>, "Andrew Herrmann" <aherrmann@suntimes.com>, "Gerould Kern" <gkern@tribune.com>
Cc: "Tim Novak" <tnovak@suntimes.com>, "Carol Marin" <cmarin@suntimes.com>, "Chris Fusco" <cfusco@suntimes.com>, "Dave McKinney" <dmckinney@suntimes.com>, "John Chase" <jchase@tribune.com>, "Jeff Coen" <JCoen@tribune.com>, "John Kass" <jskass@tribune.com>, "Eric Zorn" <ericzorn@gmail.com>
Sent: Sunday, May 6, 2012 9:00:49 PM
Subject: Fwd: Daniel T Frawley

Who wants to be a journalist ?

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <withheld>
Date: Sun, May 6, 2012 at 1:46 PM
Subject: Daniel T Frawley
To: "Ernie Souchak"<email address withheld>

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Dan Frawley <Dan Frawley's email address withheld>
Date: Sun, Aug 7, 2011 at 8:50 PM
Subject: Buddy Wilkins re;co-operation and immunity
To: robert XXXXX <Bob Cooley's email address withheld>

 

I.               Tony Rezko’s Defense attorney’s

A)    J. Duffy is a founding principal of Stetler & Duffy, Ltd. Mr. Duffy served in the United Joseph States Attorneys Office for the Northern District of Illinois from 1980-1989. As Assistant U.S. Attorney, he investigated and prosecuted complex financial crimes and public corruption cases. He was appointed Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division, Chief of the Criminal Division, and later First Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Illinois.

B)     William P. Ziegelmueller jointed the firm at its inception and is currently a member (partner) of Stetler, Duffy & Rotert, Ltd. Mr. Ziegelmueller focuses his practice on white-collar criminal defense and civil litigation, primarily in federal courts nationwide.

C)    Gene Murphy was  an Assistant State’s Attorney at the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office For eight years. Gene  prosecuted financial crime, fraud, and racketeering cases against corporate executives and business owners, union and government officials, and organized crime figures.

  • Gene headed the litigation practice at two Chicago-area litigation boutiques, and in 2004 went to the Chicago office of Bryan Cave – one of the 35 largest law firms in the world – as a commercial litigation partner.

D)    Richard Friedman Attorney-There are many Richard Friedman’s listed in the Chicago area as Attorney’s; this Richard Friedman is a friend of Gene Murphy.

E)     James (Buddy) Wilkins Buddy; Wilkins was not represented by either Joe Duffy or William P. Ziegelmueller. Attorney Gene Murphy represented Buddy WILKIN’S. The following can all be confirmed by USAO recorded conversations both in person and over the phone Murphy withdrew from the case after the US Attorney’s office had Gene Murphy do so because of a conflict of interest. I do not know what the exact conflict was. I BELIEVE 100% IT WAS BECAUSE OF MY TAPE RECORDING BUDDY WILKINS DURING MY COOPERATION WITH THE USAO. Buddy Wilkins’s was offered immunity by the USAO and Buddy was counseled by Gene Murphy not to cooperate. Gene Murphy was reporting directly to Joe Duffy and Ziegelmueller giving Tony Rezko’s attorney’s chapter and verse of all of Buddy Wilkins’s meetings with the USAO and Wilkins’s testimony to the federal Grand Jury. I first found this out from Buddy before the USAO asked e to record Wilkins. Buddy told me that Gene Murphy’s legal assistant (Diana? no last name, but her identity can be established easily.) Buddy told me that Gene Murphy would call Duffy, Ziegelmueller and or Tony Rezko often before talking to Welkins’. Murphy would take direction from Duffy and his crew telling Murphy to tell Wilkins what to do and say to the USAO and the Federal Grand jury. Wilkins told me that Wilkins’ legal fees were paid by the Tony Rezko defense fund. Murphy withdrew as Buddy’s attorney under pressure from the USAO’s office.

F)     Richard Friedman Attorney-There are many Richard Friedman’s listed in the Chicago area as Attorney’s; this Richard Friedman is a friend of Gene Murphy and was appointed by Murphy to represent Buddy Wilkins. Friedman continued co-operating with Duffy and crew. Friedman was never taped directly, but I had many taped recordings with Buddy Wilkins I which Wilkins mentions many conversations between Duffy, William P. Ziegelmueller and Richard Friedman. Friedman related to Buddy on more than one occasion that Duffy and Ziegelmueller had urged Tony Rezko to get a check to Buddy Wilkins. (Rezko owed Wilkins $25,000.) Rezko made the payments to Wilkins, usually before an appearance before the Federal Grand jury by Wilkins. I taped Buddy the night before his 2nd to last Federal Grand Jury appearance. Wilkins was flown to Chicago from North Carolina at government expense to testify before the grand jury the following morning. I picked Buddy up at O’Hare airport after meeting with FBI agents who gave me a recording advice and instructions. I received a call from the agents and the USAO’s office. The Government people were very discouraged, because the recorder malfunctioned and Wilkins stonewalled the Federal Grand Jury. I told them not to worry I could meet Buddy before he flew back to N. C. I spent hours recording Buddy and gave Buddy a ride to a friend of his house in the Southern Suburbs. The recording was very successful. Upon Buddy’s return to N.C. Buddy was taken into custody by the FBI and flown back to Chicago. Buddy finally told the truth to the Grand jury and received immunity or at least was never prosecuted and I can confirm that. The USAO asked me not to contact Buddy after that. I always felt good about this, because Buddy’s attorney’s represented Tony not Buddy (similar to what Weaver did to me) Buddy did not deserve to go to jail and had I not recorded buddy he would have followed advice from attorney’s who were supposed to represent him and did not.

 

 II) I never taped Duffy, Ziegelmueller, Murphy or Friedman however Buddy mentioned them innumerable times.

A)    The said incidents all happened.

B)     Said incidents can be proven by government tapes and by witnesses both with the government and others outside the Employment of the Federal Government.


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30Apr/120

The Frawley-Cooley emails, more to come

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Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief, Illinois PayToPlay

 

Since last February 27, Illinois PayToPlay (IP2P) has posted five emails sent to Robert “Bob” Cooley by Daniel T. Frawley. Here are links to the five articles that highlighted those emails:  February 27March 1; April 8; April 17; and April 19.

There are more to come in the days ahead.

IP2P readers know that Cooley was the star witness in a series of Chicago trials in federal court in the early 1990’s that, as part of Operation Gambat,resulted in over a score of convictions involving a sitting Federal Judge, prominent Illinois politicians, and the Chicago City Council’s 1st Ward Alderman, a member of the Chicago “outfit”.

IP2P readers also know that Daniel T. Frawley was once a Chicago cop, then a business partner of Antoin “Tony” Rezko, and is now a sentenced felon who pled guilty to bank fraud. They also know that Frawley cooperated, for years, with the U.S. Attorney’s office in the investigation of Rezko and, although not called to testify against Rezko, helped put Tony behind bars.

Frawley was recently sentenced for one year and one day, after multiple sentencing delays. The judge tainted his sentence by questioning Frawley’s mental stability.  At IP2P we believe his sentence was as much, perhaps more, about what he knows than what he did.  And, that the timing of the jail time is aimed to keep him quiet until after the November election.

We suspect that the reference to Frawley’s potential mental instability by the sentencing judge was aimed at impugning his credibility in these emails, even after the feds used Frawley to gather information on Rezko, and in “at least a half-dozen different criminal investigations”.  Although Frawley has committed to making restitution of over four million dollars, probation was never in the cards for him.  (or was it ?)

Meanwhile, the two big Chicago daily newspapers, the Tribune and the Sun Times, have displayed no interest in pursuing multiple story leads that have surfaced from Frawley’s emails to Cooley.

IP2P asks - Why is that?

We think Steve Bartin, writing for the website NewGeography.com, in an article entitled “Blago’s Historic Sentencing: Organized Crime in Illinois,” may have hit upon the Tribune-Times problem when he asked, “Could a more vigilant press have stopped the amazing political career of Rod Blagojevich?”

The answer to Bartin’s rhetorical question is – Yes, of course.

That endemic Chicago corruption continues to exist is due, in no small part, to the complicity of the city’s two major daily newspapers, be that complicity benign, malignant, or a blend.

Nationally, Chicago is recognized as synonymous with corruption.

IP2P asks - Where’s the shame at the Tribune and Times?

In the future, IP2P will release more Frawley-Cooley emails, providing the two papers more leads to ignore.  Until, perhaps, the citizens of Chicago begin to pressure their two major newspapers to take their jobs seriously.

A somnolent press cannot long remain free.

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21Apr/120

The Chicago Gulag discredits “CI2”

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Introducing Nimat Tovakaz, Illinois PayToPlay’s Foreign Correspondent, The Istanbulum Gazetesi

Regarding the federal sentencing of Daniel T. Frawley, former business partner of Antoin “Tony” Rezko, the Sun Times reports that,

“[Judge Ronald] Guzman ordered him to undergo a mental health evaluation and to serve time in a facility that has mental health services.”

This statement came in the context of Guzman’s noting that it’s been six years since Frawley was arrested for the crime for which he now faces jail time.

Also, it came in the context of the Times’ statement that,

“Over three years, Daniel T. Frawley would meet with government agents in an ‘off-campus,’ secret location. There, he divulged details used in at least a half-dozen different investigations, including the federal government’s case against Tony Rezko, a onetime fundraiser for ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich and Barack Obama before he became president.”

According to his attorney, being “wired up” was a “risky endeavor” for Frawley.

Thomas M. Durkin, one of Frawley’s attorneys, is quoted saying that Frawley was involved in investigation of “several significant public corruption cases”.

What cases were those?  Are they still pending?  If they are, what did the feds just say about the mental stability of their potential confidential informant?

Plus, what impact does the judge’s words have on the alleged “Whistleblower” law suit that the Times contends Frawley filed against his relatives, the McMahon’s, that is allegedly under seal?

If the “significant public corruption cases” Frawley was involved with are buried today, why is that?

No one in the old Chicago media is asking these questions today. Perhaps they’re not authorized to ask.

Frawley is referred to in the government’s motion to arrest Tony Rezko as “CI2,” for confidential informant #2.  His stability was good enough back then to take Tony off the streets while Tony awaited trial, and subsequent conviction.

But at Frawley’s sentencing, the judge tainted Frawley’s character with an implied judgment that Frawley needs medical mental treatment.

Well, perhaps he does.  But not that long ago, Frawley was mentally stable enough to wear a federal wire in dangerous situations.  So now he’s a head case?

Looking at this episode from a foreign perspective, is this what’s going on here in the Gulag that’s Chicago justice?

Forensic psychiatry in Eastern Europe, and in particular in the former Soviet Union, was closely and directly involved in the systematic use of psychiatry for political purposes by declaring political and religious dissidents mentally ill.” (Block, S., & Reddaway, P., 1997, Russia’s Political Hospital, London: Gollancz.)

Leningrad Special Psychiatric Hospital

USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs

 

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19Apr/120

Sun Times’ report on Frawley sentencing in error

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Hugo Floriani, Investigative Reporter, Illinois PayToPlay

In an April 19, 2012 Sun Times article entitled “Rezko’s business partner, who wore wire, gets one-year prison sentence,Times reporter Natasha Korecki wrote this:

“The Sun-Times has previously reported that Iraq’s Ministry of Electricity gave a $50 million contract to Companion Security in 2005 to train Iraqi security guards. That deal soon fizzled after a regime change.”

Really? If that’s so then why did Colonel David Hunt (US Army, Ret.) of FOX news fame, according to a confidential informant, send this email to Dan Frawley on June 9, 2007?

From: DHunt12xxx@(Address withheld)

To: dtfcompanion@(Address withheld)

Subject: Dan Call Me Great News

Date: Sat, 9 Jun 2007 20:50:56 EDT

Dan, Dewey, just called. Our guy just got back and is going back again on the 23 of this month. Here is what he learned. The Iraq Government considers your contract valid. Your contract is sitting on the Oil Ministers desk to be discussed and implemented by the Oil Committee. We have a guy on the staff of the committee it turns out a Kurd.

The bad news is that the Oil Committee has not acted on anything in two years....typical for Iraq.

Our guy is going back to try to get the committee to get this started.

I am very surprised and happy for you. I would have thought it was dead in the water.

David

The “Dewey” mentioned in the email is probably Duane R. Clarridge, who worked for the Central Intelligence Agency for over two decades.  Read about him in the New York Times here.

Both Hunt and Clarridge were contacted by email in mid-March for comment, but have not responded.

Doesn’t sound like the deal “fizzled” in 2005, as the Sun Times reported.  According to the email above, as of June 9 2007 the Iraqi government considered the contract, all 17 pages of it, signed on April 18, 2005 by Frawley, “Chief Executive Officer Operations” for Companion Security, and Faris Al-Bayati, “Security Consultant for the [Iraqi] Ministry of Electricity,” still “valid”.

Also, the Sun Times reported that:

“’It’s not clear to me why this took such a long time,’ {Judge] Guzman said. He called it ‘fundamentally unfair’ to charge someone, give time to rehabilitate, then have them serve their punishment. Guzman ordered him to undergo a mental health evaluation and to serve time in a facility that has mental health services.”

Guzman is a judge in the federal court that repeatedly postponed Frawley’s sentencing, dealt with him, according to Guzman, in a “fundamentally unfair” manner, and now the judge says he doesn’t understand how that happened! Really?

It’s as though you go to a fine restaurant – your meal comes late, cold, and bad tasting – and the top chef comes out of the kitchen wearing his tall white hat and says, “Gee, it’s just not clear to me how this happened.”

Lastly, there’s that nagging question of how the Sun Times got access to a sealed law suit allegedly filed by Frawley against the McMahons.  Who leaked it, and why?  And what are the consequences for leaking a sealed court document?

At Illinois PayToPlay, we’re guessing there are no consequences.

 

 

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17Apr/121

Jack Lavin testifies in a stealth law suit, along with other notables

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Hugo Floriani, PayToPlay Investigative Reporter

Did you know that a federal civil law suit went to the jury today, April 17, after Governor Pat Quinn’s Chief-of-Staff, Jack Lavin, testified as a witness; Tony Rezko was deposed; and Daniel T. Frawley didn’t testify because his lawyer indicated that, if called, he would “take the 5th”? Here's Jack.

You probably didn’t know any of that, unless you hang around the court house for grins.  And you certainly didn’t know it if you rely on the Chicago Tribune or the Chicago Sun Times to keep you informed.  (Although today, the Times did report that some bald eagles are nesting in the south suburbs. Good to know stuff.)

The case, filed April 24, 2008, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, pits Semir D. Sirazi vs. Panda Express, Inc., Panda Restaurant Group, Inc. and the Citadel Panda Express, Inc.

(Illinois PayToPlay reported earlier on another law suit, filed just last January, pitting Semir Sirazi vs. Nadhmi Auchi. Tony Rezko plays a role in both cases.)

Here’s the “Nature of the Action” paragraph in the Sirazi vs. Panda Express case that’s now in the jury’s hands:

“1. This is an action by Sirazi against Panda Express for unjust enrichment, fraud, civil conspiracy, aiding and abetting a breach of fiduciary duty and for violations of the Illinois Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act. From 1993 to 2006, Panda Express, Antoin (“Tony”) Rezko, and various Rezko-controlled companies owned and operated numerous Panda Express restaurants in 5 Midwestern states, the majority of which were in the Illinois/Chicagoland area. In June of 2006, knowing that Tony Rezko was under severe financial and legal distress, and desperate for funds, Panda Express (among other improper actions) bought out PE Chicago, LLC’s 50% interest in the Rezko-Citadel partnership – the entity that owned and operated the Panda Express restaurants – at a price many times less than the fair value of that interest. At the time of the purchase, Panda Express knew that Sirazi and others had significant ownership interests in PE Chicago. In fact, Sirazi, at the time of the purchase – through his interest in Rezko Enterprises, LLC – owned a significant majority of PE Chicago. Panda Express, however, fraudulently conspired with Rezko to acquire PE Chicago’s entire interest in the Rezko-Citadel partnership without Sirazi’s knowledge and at a price far less than the fair value of such interest. As a result of the improper actions of Panda Express, Sirazi has suffered losses in excess of $15 million.”

So, Sirazi asserts he was cheated big-time by Rezko and the Panda Express Chinese food chain, headquartered in Rosemead, California. The originating Pandas were “Andrew and Peggy Cherng and Andrew's father, Master Chef Ming Tsai Cherng, all of whom used to live in the Yangzhou region of China’s Jiangsu province. They started their first Panda Inn restaurant in 1973 in Pasadena, California.”

Here’s the real interesting part: Daniel T. Frawley, in a recently obtained email sent to a confidential source and forwarded to Illinois PayToPlay, claims that Governor Pat Quinn’s Chief-of-Staff, Jack Lavin, fraudulently cooked Rezko’s Papa John’s books by transferring $4,000,000 from Panda Express accounts into Tony’s pizza business.  Here’s that email:

From: Dan Frawley <Address withheld>

Date: Thu, Jun 2, 2011 at 1:00 PM
Subject: I MET OBAMA'S AID AT THOMPSON PRISON WHERE BO WANTED TO SHIFT QUANTANIMO PRISONERS
To: robert XXXXX <Address withheld>

THOMSON PRISON, OBAMA, REZKO, JACK LAVIN & MOE CONTRACT

THOMSON PRISON IS THE FIRST SIGHT THE STATE OF ILLINOIS PROVIDED ME TO LOOK AT TO TRAIN THE IRAQI MOE CANDIDATES.

SEAMUS AHERN OF SENATOR OBAMA’S JOILIET ILLINOIS OFFICE WAS AT THOMSON. NEVER CALLED THE SENATOR’S OFFICE TO ARRANGE TO BE MET.

TONY REZKO CALLED JACK LAVIN REGARDING TRAINING THE IRAQI’S AT AN ILLINOIS GOVERNMENT SIGHT.

JACK LAVIN WAS THE CEO OF ONE OF TONY’S COMPANIES. JACK LAVIN MADE A JOURNALENTRY IN PANDA RESTARAUNTS FINANCIAL STATEMENT. JACK TOOK 4 MILLION DOLLARS OF PANDA’S PROFITS AND MADE A JOURNAL ENTRY INTO PAPA JOHN’S PIZZA PROFITS IN ORDER FOR TO OBTAIN A 10 MILLION LOAN FROM G.E. CREDIT.

ANDREW CHERNIG WAS A 50/50 PARTNER OF TONY’S IN PANDA. WHEN CHERNIG DISCOVERED THAT LAVIN AND REZKO DEFRAUDED HIM CHERNIG CAME INTO CHICAGO ON A FRIDAY AND EMPTIED THE PANDA OFFICE.

TONY AND LAVIN KEPT A DOUBLE SET OF BOOKS FOR PAPA JOHN’S. TOD SELACK THE ACCOUNTANT FOR RECKON AND LAVIN PREPARED THE DOUBLE SET OF BOOKS PER AL CHAIB AND REZKO’S ORDERS.

I HAVE SEEN BOTH SET OF BOOKS AND PROVIDED THE USAO’S OFFICE THE OPPORTUNITY TO COPY SAID BOOKS. THE ENTRY LAVIN MADE INTO THE PAPA JOHN BOOKS WAS KNOWN AS THE MIRACE ENTRY AROUND THE REZMAR OFFICE.

CHERNIG NEVER REPORTED THE FRAUD BECAUSE CHERNIG PARTICIPATED WITH AL CHAIB AND TONY IN STAFFING PANDA RESTAURANT WITH ILLEGAL CHINESE ALIENS CHERNIG HELPED SMUGGLE INTO THE UNITED STATES. CHERNIG WORKED THE CHINESE 80-100 HOUR PER WEEKAND PAID THEM FOR 40. TONY AND CHAIB HOUSED THE CHINESE IN THEIR BUILINGS IN OVER CROWDED CONDITIONS AND OVER CHARGED THE CHINESE FOR RENT.

Plenty to chew on there, such as…

  • Was Rezko deposed about the allegation that he was a slum landlord for illegal Chinese immigrant workers employed by the Pandas?
  • Was Lavin asked about the fraudulent bookkeeping allegation from Frawley?
  •  Is this why Frawley’s attorney announced that Frawley would “take the 5th” if called to testify?
  • Peggy Cherng testified at the trial.  Did she mention the use of illegal Chinese immigrants in Panda Express restaurants, as alleged by Frawley?
  • How about Al Chaib – was he asked about any of this?

Now that they have this email, no doubt the intrepid investigative reporters at the Sun Times and the Trib will jump on this story.

Hey, we can dream can’t we?

 

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