Monday, December 02, 2013

Lake County Surveyor Reaches Plea Agreement With Federal Prosecutors In Public Corruption Case

Lake Co. Survey George Van Til (D) has agreed to plead guilty to six counts of wire fraud related his use of county employees and resources for campaign purposes and pay $20,000 in restitution to Lake County according to the Northwest Indiana Times' Bill Dolan. The U.S. Attorney's Office has agreed to drop two obstruction of justice charges against Van Til in exchange for the plea agreement, along with a shortened sentence rather than take his chances at a trial scheduled to begin next week. Van Til is just one in a long line of Democratic politicians in Lake County convicted of public corruption charges brought by the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Northern District of Indiana in recent years.
My good friend Kim Krull links to a list of the infamous Lake County pols on Facebook. The list is 56 and growing. Marion County politicians should consider themselves lucky that we don't have a federal prosecutor in Indianapolis who will prosecute public corruption cases like occurs regularly in the Northern District:

1. East Chicago City Councilman Frank Kollintzas (fled the US to avoid prison), convicted for misappropriation of federal funds, lying to the FBI.
2. East Chicago City Councilman Joe De La Cruz, convicted for misappropriation of federal funds.
3. East Chicago City Controller Edwardo Maldonado, convicted for misappropriation of federal funds. Convicted a second time in July 2006 for using public money to pay his defense attorneys.
4. East Chicago City Councilman Adrian Santos, pled guilty to fraud and conspiracy in connection with the $24 million sidewalks-for-votes case.
5. East Chicago Parks Superintendent Jose Valdez Jr., fraud and conspiracy in connection with the sidewalks-for-votes case.
6. East Chicago City Engineer Pedro Porras, fraud and conspiracy in connection with the sidewalks-for-votes case.
7. Gerry Nannenga, former carpenter's union official, accepting bribes to approve the Coffee Creek land deal.
8. Kevin Pastrick, son of former East Chicago Mayor Robert Pastrick, paying bribes to approve the Coffee Creek land deal.
9. Peter Manous, former Indiana Democratic chairman, paying bribes to approve the Coffee Creek land deal.
10. Carl Paul Ihle Jr., co-owner with Kevin Pastrick of Sand Creek Sales, forging documents and lying about the Coffee Creek land deal.
11. Peter Benjamin, former Lake County auditor and assessor, paying bribes to Lake County Councilman Troy Montgomery.
12. Troy Montgomery, former Lake County councilman, accepting Benjamin's bribes.
13. Joel Markovich, former Lake County councilman and contractor, fraud in connection with the sidewalks-for-votes case.
14. Katie Hall, Gary city clerk, extorting $19,000 in campaign contributions from office employees.
15. Junifer Hall, chief deputy Gary city clerk and daughter of Katie Hall, extorting $19,000 in campaign contributions from office employees.
16. Former East Chicago Police Chief Edward Samuels, ghost employment as a security guard in a city housing project.
17. East Chicago Building Commission Miguel "Mike" Arredondo, ghost employment as a security guard in a city housing project.
18. Gary City Parks Superintendent Kimberly Lyles, lying to federal agents about influence peddling.
19. Assistant County Building Administrator Jan Allison, extortion.
20. G. Gregory Cvitkovich, former North Township trustee, tax fraud.
21. James H. Fife III, a former special assistant to the East Chicago mayor, federal tax fraud.
22. Karen Krahn-Fife, federal tax fraud.
23. East Chicago City Councilman Randall Artis, fraud and conspiracy in connection with the sidewalks-for-votes case.
24. Robert White, Gary city councilman, fraud.
25. Lake County Recorder Morris Carter, extortion.
26. Former Schererville Town Judge Deborah Riga, fraud in using office to personally benefit her family business.
27. Jojuana Meeks, embezzling money from Gary Urban Enterprise Association.
28. Charmaine Pratchett, embezzling money from GUEA.
29. Derrick Earls, embezzling from GUEA board.
30. Johnnie Wright, embezzling from GUEA board.
31. Will Smith Jr., Lake County Council president, tax evasion for a questionable land deal with GUEA.
32. Roosevelt Powell, former delinquent tax collector for Lake County, tax evasion, theft conspiracies involving GUEA land deals.
33. Willie Harris, Gary attorney, tax evasion, theft conspiracies involving GUEA land deals.
34. Nancy Fromm, addiction counselor, lying to federal agents.
35. Otho Lyles III, tax evasion and lying to FBI in Gary City Hall investigation.
36. George Pabey, E. Chicago Mayor , convicted of conspiracy and theft of government funds while Mayor of East Chicago
37. Jewell Harris Sr Convicted of double-billing Gary for debris-hauling work at The Steel Yard stadium.
38. Bob Cantrell former director in the North Township Trustee's office and chairman of the East Chicago GOP under Roger Chiabai: convicted with tax evasion and insurance fraud.
39. Dozier Allen, convicted with skimming money from a federal grant to Calumet Township.
40. Wanda Joshua, convicted with skimming money from a federal grant to Calumet Township.
41. Roland D. Watson, former deputy assessor of Calumet Township, which includes the city of Gary
Watson, 37, of Gary, pled guilty of having conspired to share in bribes paid by businessmen to win tax breaks for their properties.
42. Former Lake County Sheriff Rudy Bartolomei was convicted of extortion while serving as sheriff in 1985. He entered the witness protection plan with his wife in about 1986.
43. Frank A.J. Stodola, 66, of Hammond, a former judge and county commissioner: sentenced to 12 years in federal prison for racketeering and extortion and ordered to forfeit $10,800 in bribe money, amid charges that he sold his commisioner`s office to the highest bidder
44. Michael Jankovich, 76, of Hobart, former Lake County assessor and longtime local Democratic power: sentenced to prison for 6 years, fined $250,000 and ordered to forfeit $11,700 in bribe receipts, after pleading guilty to charges of racketeering and extortion in soliciting bribes from businessmen in return for cutting their tax bills.
45. Noah Atterson Spann, 48, of East Chicago, the highest elected black county executive and a fellow county commissioner with Bartolomei: sentenced to 20 years in prison for racketeering conspiracy, fined $25,000 and ordered to forfeit $29,615 in payoff money.
46. Rudy Byron, 51, of Gary, a Spann protege and former Lake County inspector: sentenced to 9 years in prison and fined $15,000 for accepting payoffs to help two janitorial firms get lucrative county contracts and for concealing payments of $50,000 from his income-tax returns.
47. Albert Young Jr., who signed a plea agreement and admitted guilt, to two years on probationconvicted with skimming money from a federal grant to Calumet Township.
48. Ann Marie Karras guilty in April 2009 of two fraud counts for taking checks from a federal contract between 2000 and 2002.
49. Morris Carter, County Recorder took a $1,000 bribe.
50. Jose Camacho, East Chicago conviction along with Pabey.
51. Thomas Philpot, convicted of stealing child support money while the County Clerk. He had also been the County Coroner.
52. Al Salinas- Hammond City Councilman pleaded guilty to taking kickbacks in exchange for steering city work to a contractor. Also pleaded guilty to one count of willful failure to file tax returns from 2006 to 2009
53. Marylin Krusas- gary City Councilwoman pleaded guilty to tax evasion when she failed to file tax returns since 1991 and had failed to pay taxes on a $232,680 inheritance she received in 2009 and 2010
54. George Van Til- Pleaded guilty to wire fraud 12-2-13 in exchange for a lighter sentence and having to pay the county $20,000 in restitution.
55. Manny Montalvo- East chicago library director and former Secretary of the the Lake Co Democratic Party pleaded guilty of lying on a tax return. convicted of battery in 2010. Sentenced to 24 months probation which includes 4 months of home detention.
56. Lonnie Randolph- Reprimanded by the State Supreme Court for misconduct.


Anonymous said...

These results give pause for the Performance Evaluation of Southern District's Joe Hogsett!

-Sure looks like there is a problem in one of the Districts....

Gary R. Welsh said...

That's an understatement, particularly in light of the fact that the public crimes committed down here are on a much grander scale. Hell, the commission of the crimes are committed down here in plain sight and he doesn't do a damn thing. He's more interested in collecting political favors for his next run for public office.

Anonymous said...

You left off Metro Holochka, ex-Lake
County Prosecutor.

Here's his disbarment Order link.

Those were quite interesting characters and times.

Anonymous said...

"Sweet Pea's" (Monroe Gray (D (U. S. Attorney is a (D)) "No Bid" concrete contract at the airport comes to my mind.....

Anonymous said...

We hoosiers, We americans must keep agitating for reform in the US Attorney's Office in Indianapolis as well as throw out the low lifes who run both political parties in this state! We will force the feds to investigate the mismanagement of FSSA, DCS, DWD and to make the parasites and no talent hacks who run them history! We will never give up, retreat or stop! We will reclaim the boyhood home of Lincoln and make the Bayh's, Lugar's, Delaney's and Daniels the pariahs they deserve to be! All you lowlifes are hereby warned your Reign of Terror will end! Do you hear us Mitch Roob, James Payne, Ron Stiver, David Thomas, Scott Sanders!

JLC said...

Having been born and bred in Lake County this list gives me pause. The Feds are only skimming the top of the trash pile. All the low level corruption (nepotism, cronyism, back office influence, etc.) is keeping the county back and hurting the people.

Everyone notices how little the county prosecutor does. Just think how much more effective if the local and the federal prosecutors worked together.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget former Gary Mayor, George Chacharis, indicted and convicted of evading taxes on kickbacks.