Ald. Willie Cochran entered his plea Thursday to one felony count of wire fraud for spending campaign funds on personal purchases, including gambling and his daughter's college tuition.
The outgoing 20th Ward alderman is set to appear at a change-of-plea hearing on March 21. He was charged in 2016 with 15 federal charges including fraud, bribery and extortion.
Prominent Chicago Ald. Willie B. Cochran surprised courtroom observers at a hearing Wednesday by turning down a plea agreement in his federal corruption case that his lawyer contends could have meant little to no prison time.
Charges were announced Wednesday as the South Side alderman, a former Chicago police officer, attended the final City Council meeting of the year.
The former Chicago alderman was indicted Tuesday on charges of income tax evasion and impeding the IRS. He is expected to be arraigned before Thanksgiving.
A federal grand jury issued a 24-count indictment Thursday charging former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock with several counts of wire fraud and theft of government funds, among other charges.
The charges against former U.S. Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert include perjury and using a complicated series of financial maneuvers to hide a $3.5 million payoff to someone from Yorkville, where he taught high school decades ago. We take a closer look at the legal issues behind the indictment and the possible ramifications.
Late Thursday afternoon, former U.S. Speaker Dennis Hastert was charged in a scheme to withdraw millions of dollars to pay off an accuser for “past misconduct.” The indictment says Hastert lied to the FBI about the purpose of the withdrawals. Paris Schutz has more on the developing case.
Corruption Charges Brought in City’s Red Light Camera Contracts
A former chief executive officer of Chicago’s first red light camera vendor, Redflex Traffic Systems, Inc., and the company’s customer liaison with the city, were indicted today on federal corruption charges together with a retired city official who managed the red light camera program for nearly a decade, after he alone was charged initially in May.