Months after her conviction in the “ComEd Four” bribery case, ex-Commonwealth Edison CEO Anne Pramaggiore now faces new fraud charges brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The SEC on Thursday announced it had filed charges against Pramaggiore, ComEd and its parent company Exelon, alleging they engaged in a “multi-year scheme to corruptly influence and reward” former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.
“As alleged in our complaint, Pramaggiore’s remarks to investors about ComEd’s lobbying efforts hid the reality of the long-running political corruption scheme in which they were engaged,” LeeAnn G. Gaunt, chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Public Finance Abuse Unit, said in a statement. “When corporate executives speak to investors, they must not mislead by omission.”
Pramaggiore allegedly violated antifraud provisions and aided and abetted Exelon’s and ComEd’s “violations of books and records and internal accounting controls provisions.”
She and three others — former ComEd lobbyist Mike McClain, retired ComEd executive John Hooker and ex-City Club of Chicago president and former ComEd consultant Jay Doherty — were each found guilty this year of bribery conspiracy, bribery and willfully falsifying the company’s books stemming from the Madigan scheme.
The SEC’s charges similarly allege that from 2011 through 2019, ComEd arranged for various associates of Madigan to obtain jobs, subcontracts and monetary payments, all with the goal of influencing Madigan to support legislation favorable to ComEd.
As for Pramaggiore, the SEC has alleged she not only participated in the scheme, but in some instances also directed it.
“The complaint alleges that Pramaggiore did not disclose the bribery scheme and instead misled investors when she characterized ComEd’s lobbying activities as legitimate,” the SEC said in a press statement. “The complaint also alleges that, as part of the scheme, Pramaggiore lied to Exelon’s auditors and filed false certifications.”
According to the SEC, Exelon has already agreed to pay a $46.2 million civil penalty. In Pramaggiore’s case, the SEC is seeking permanent injunctive relief along with a civil penalty.
Pramaggiore’s attorney indicated she plans to appeal her federal conviction in the “ComEd Four” case.
One of the jurors who found Pramaggiore and the three others guilty later told “Chicago Tonight” jurors wanted to send a message that, “We do not want to stand for this sort of corruption.”
“We as jurors agree that we do not want to see our state run like that,” Amanda Schnitker Sayers said, “and we do hope that message is clear that things need to occur along a proper channel to flow through the government. We have a great government. Let it run correctly.”
Pramaggiore is scheduled to be sentenced in that case in January.