Skip to comments.Millionaire charged with taking kickbacks from teachers' pension fund (Big RAT indicted)
Posted on 08/03/2005 5:45:19 PM PDT by Libloather
Millionaire charged with taking kickbacks from teachers' pension fund
By Andy Shaw
August 3, 2005 A politically connected businessman has been indicted for a second time on federal fraud charges. Stuart Levine is linked to a scam involving the Illinois Teachers Pension Fund along with one of the Democratic party's biggest fund raisers, Joseph Cari. The message from the feds Wednesday is crystal clear: Chicago City Hall is only one of the fronts in the war on government corruption. It also appears to be rampant at the boards and commissions that oversee billions of dollars in state of Illinois programs. One of the alleged scammers is multi-millionaire businessman Stuart Levine. Another is Joe Cari, one of the Democratic parties biggest national fundraisers.
Joseph Cari, a 52-year-old Chicago lawyer and major Democratic party fundraiser for Bill Clinton, Al Gore and others, allegedly conspired with Highland Park businessman Stuart Levine, a former member of the Illinois Teachers Retirement System. The two were attempting to extort $850,000 in kickbacks from a Virginia investment firm that was seeking an $850 million contract to invest the money of 325,000 retired teachers.
"Cari called the firm and told the firm they had to sign the contract by the end of the day or their application for the money would be pulled off the table. He made clear this is the way things are done in Illinois," said Patrick Fitzgerald, U.S. attorney.
Levine, who has already been indicted for allegedly shaking down hospitals and medical schools as a member of the state's hospital construction board, is facing 14 additional counts in the new indictment. He allegedly extorted several hundred thousand dollars from investment firms that wanted a piece of the teachers' $30 million pension fund.
"He used fraud and extortion to put those funds to use for the benefit of his friends, not for the teachers," said Fitzgerald.
Levine was appointed to the boards by former Governor George Ryan and reappointed by Governor Blagojevich. He is a longtime friend and major contributor to the state's former attorney general, Jim Ryan.
At Wednesday's announcement the feds talked about where the investigation is going.
"We're obviously very concerned about how the state boards are operated. This is a broad investigation, and if there's anyone out there who has information about any corrupt conduct, regardless of individual involvement in the state board, we want them to come forward," Fitzgerald said.
Stuart Levine is fighting the charges in the hospital shakedown scheme, but the government has at least one major cooperating witness. We don't have a reaction to the new indictment from Levine or his attorney, but Joe Cari is pleading guilty along with another lawyer, Steven Loren of Highland Park, who allegedly drafted the phony legal documents in the scam. Both lawyers are cooperating with the government.
Patrick Fitzgerald might end being the best thing to happen to Illinois politics in decades. He has gone after "Lying" Ryan and his Republicrat cronies, and now it's the Democrans turn. Dennis Hastert has to support his reappointment now.
do I REALLY have to say it???
LOL! No, I will. Another example of The Democratic Crime Syndicate
Say it loud, SAY IT PROUD!
You can always count on a 'Rat to be involved with either a mobbed-up labor union or one of the education rackets, or both.
Nooooooo, that can't be.
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