Crucial Figure in Illinois Corruption Investigation Pleads Guilty to Fraud

Crucial Figure in Illinois Corruption Investigation Pleads Guilty to Fraud

CHICAGO (AP) – An obscure but crucial figure in federal investigator’s years-long investigation of public corruption in Illinois pleaded guilty to an unrelated fraud scheme Friday, six years after he secretly recorded House Speaker Michael Madigan with hopes of future leniency from a judge.

See Y. Wong admitted he scammed a bank and pleaded guilty by video to wire fraud, doing so four months after a federal subpoena sent to Madigan’s office indicated Wong’s undercover work could still be relevant to the probe roiling state politics.

In the subpoena – delivered the day investigators charged ComEd in a bribery scheme that implicated Madigan – documents were sought related to Chinatown properties that appear to be part of the recorded conversation Wong had in August 2014 with Madigan and then-Ald. Daniel Solis (25th).

Madigan has not been criminally charged and has denied wrongdoing.

Solis later helped investigators build a racketeering case against Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th), who was first criminally charged Jan. 2, 2019. Burke’s lawyers said Solis struck a so-called deferred-prosecution agreement with the feds the next day.

Federal prosecutors first charged Wong in March, days before the coronavirus pandemic took hold in Chicago and upended the federal court system.

Their seven-page charging document, known as an information, first revealed the scam that apparently prompted Wong to cooperate, revolving around the Canal Crossing condominium development in Chinatown.