There's a peculiar story in today's Chicago Sun-Times about efforts by federal prosecutors in Springfield, Illinois to revoke bail for Jeri L. Wright, daughter of President Barack Obama's infamous former minister, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who is currently awaiting sentencing after she was found guilty in a money laundering scheme last year involving federal grant money misapplied by the former chief of police of County Club Hills, Illinois. Wright's federal probation officer claims she received paychecks totaling $8,192 for work she never performed for Berry Plastics in Franklin, Indiana.
According to the affidavit of probation officer Eric W. Fox, Elwood Staffing placed Wright to work at Berry Plastics to perform quality database work from February 12, 2014 to May 28, 2014. Berry Plastics paid Elwood Staffing $10,560 for work performed by Wright, and Elwood Staffing issued 13 paychecks to Wright totaling $8,192. According to Fox's affidavit, the Franklin Police Department was contacted by Berry Plastic's human resources manager concerning a complaint against a former plant manager, Brent A. Odom. The human resources manager complained that Odom had made fraudulent credit card purchases and hired several people for temporary work at Berry Plastics that was never performed, including Wright.
Wright received her paychecks through direct deposit at a Chase Bank account and an Express Centurion Bank account. Fox's affidavits said Wright listed her address as 9074 Winslow Way in Fishers, Indiana. According to Hamilton Co. property tax records, that's a condominium owned by Denise M. Mathews. A search of Odom's desk at Berry Plastics found items belonging to Wright, including a letter from the Polsinelli Law Firm in Chicago enclosing an invoice for more than $39,000 in charges for "defense of federal charges" and a letter from I-Pass, Illinois Tollway concerning replacement of Wright's vehicle transponder.
Fox's affidavit states that the investigation of Wright's theft was "currently ongoing and no formal charges have been filed at this time." Indiana court records show Odom has been stopped numerous times for various traffic offenses, including operating a vehicle without a license and operating a vehicle with expired license plate tags. Court records associate Odom with the address of a home owned by Robert O. Walls and Anita V. Odom Walls at 8366 Misty Drive in Lawrence. Walls is associated with several nonprofit organizations in Indianapolis according to his Linkedin page, including Center for Civic Education, Winning Experiences and Community at the Center Multi-Service Center.
In Wright's federal money laundering case last year, she was found guilty of helping her childhood friend, former County Club Hills Police Chief Regina Evans, convert fake paychecks from a nonprofit organization run by Evans for Evans' personal use. The federal grant money was supposed to be used to train minority and female workers in the building trades. Evans was also police chief when Christoper Kelly was found in his Cadillac Escalade at a warehouse in Country Club Hills in September 2009 after he supposedly took an overdose of drugs to commit suicide. Kelly was scheduled to begin serving an 8-year prison sentence on federal mail fraud charges for his role in an $8.5 million kickback scheme on construction work at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago. Kelly was supposedly under intense pressure at the time to cooperate with federal investigators in their ongoing investigation of corruption tied to former Gov. Rod Blagojevich and political fixer Tony Rezko, a close pal of President Obama who is now serving a lengthy federal prison sentence for public corruption charges, along with Blagojevich. Some believe Kelly was actually murdered by poisoning to silence him.
|Regina Evans in front of Christoper Kelly's impounded Escalade|
UPDATE: A federal judge isn't going to wait for Indiana officials to get around to charging Wright for collecting pay for a job she never performed. Judge Sue Myerscough revoked Wright's bond and ordered her to jail. Wright tried to offer e-mails to prove she did some work for Berry Plastics in Franklin, Indiana, but the judge didn't buy it. The company's comptroller easily beat down her claims when she testified she never was a legitimate employee and had never been seen working at the plant.