Saturday, November 21, 2015

Feds Indict Man For Lying About How He Got $30,000 Job In Cook County Clerk's Office

It's quite fascinating to watch from a distance how far federal prosecutors are willing to dig into the weeds to nab corrupt politicians in Chicago when whistle blowers in Indiana can't get our federal prosecutors to move on the most blatant public corruption cases involving tens of millions of tax dollars occurring here in Indianapolis. Yesterday, federal prosecutors announced it was charging Sivusubramani Rajaram with lying under oath during testimony given before a federal grand jury about how he obtained a $30,000 a year job in the Cook County Clerk's Office.

According to a press release from the federal prosecutor's office in Chicago, the grand jury was hearing evidence about possible criminal violations in connection with the purchasing of jobs and promotions within the Clerk’s Office. Rajaram allegedy lied to the grand jury about whether he had spoken to Cook County Clerk Dorothy Brown (D) about the job he was hired to fill last year and had not spoken to other high-ranking officials in Brown's office by phone about a job in her office since returning from India. A month before Rajaram was hired for a job paying $30,000 a year, he allegedly loaned $15,000 to Goat Masters Corporation, a company owned by Brown's husband, Benton Cook, III.

The Chicago Tribune sheds more light on Goat Masters Corporation. It was formed just two months before Rajaram allegedly loaned it $15,000 and was just dissolved last week. It's not clear what type of business Goat Masters was conducting according to The Tribune. The federal investigation was supposedly launched, according to The Tribune, after another Indian businessman, Narendra Patel, transferred a building to a company owned by Brown's husband at no cost. Month's later, Brown's husband put the property in couple's names and then sold what is described as a run-down building to another man, Musa Tadros, for $100,000.

Patel's company, Medstar Laboratory, Inc., had contributed $86,000 to Brown's campaign committee over a several year period. Rajaram, who had previously worked in Brown's office before returning to India, had contributed $250 to Brown's campaign committee in 2006. It's not clear why Rajaram would loan $15,000 to Brown's husband for a job paying only $30,000 a year, or why Patel would have an interest in funneling so much money to Brown's husband or her campaign committee. It's not like the county clerk's office would have any influence over his medical lab business.

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