“Public officials who solicit and obtain bribes, and private individuals who pay bribes, undermine trust in honest government. The defendants in these cases are alleged to have done just that.” - U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.
Three men with ties to a Lisle-based business were formally indicted by a federal grand jury Thursday for allegedly participating in a corruption scheme to use bribery and kickbacks to sell bandages to public hospitals.
Gerald Lombardi (a.k.a. Jerry Lombardi Sr.), 59, of Darien, was indicted on two counts of wire fraud and one count each of bribery and conspiracy to commit bribery. His son, Jerry A. Lombardi, 33, of Downers Grove, was indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit bribery.
The Lombardis and Stanley Wozniak, 49, of Chicago, represented Chasing Lions, a veterans-owned business in Lisle. The U.S. Attorney’s office alleges the business was involved in the kickback scheme with former Cook County Commissioner Joseph Mario Moreno and former Chicago Alderman Ambrosio Medrano.
In addition to the formal charges leveled yesterday against the Lombardis, the grand jury handed down indictments against Wozniak on two counts of wire fraud and one count of bribery; while Moreno, 59, of Chicago, was charged with three counts of bribery, two counts of wire fraud, and one count each of extortion and conspiracy to commit extortion; and Medrano, 58, of Chicago, was charged with two counts of wire fraud and one count each of bribery and conspiracy to commit bribery.
New defendant Ronald Garcia, 53, of Lockport, owner and operator of Chicago Medical Equipment & Supply Co., was also charged in the federal indictment on one count each of extortion, conspiracy to commit extortion and bribery.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, Garcia’s company was certified by Cook County as a minority business enterprise (MBE). Between March 2008 and July 2009, Garcia and Moreno allegedly conspired to extort a company that won a county contract to force it to use Garcia’s company as a minority subcontractor, federal officials said.
Moreno has also been charged in two additional bribery schemes, one of which involved Medrano.
Thursday’s indictments were announced by Gary S. Shapiro, Acting United States Attorney for the Northen District of Illinois; Robert D. Grant, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Thomas Jankowski, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division in Chicago.
The FBI’s Chicago City Public Corruption Task Force led the investigation with assistance from the Chicago Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division, a task force member.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher J. Stetler and Steven Grimes represent the government in the cases.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, charges in the indictments carry the following maximum penalties on each count: wire fraud, extortion, and extortion conspiracy, 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine; bribery,10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine; and conspiracy to commit bribery, five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The court may also impose a fine on the wire fraud counts totaling twice the loss to any victim or twice the gain to the defendant, whichever is greater, Shapiro said. If convicted, the court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.