Monday, December 01, 2008

Criminal Complaint (8): Information Obtained From Individual A

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(Part 8: criminal complaint against Gov. Rod Blagojevich and John Harris. It was posted 12-22-08, but has been back-dated to bump it down. Some emphasis has been added.

Mentioned on this page: Individual A, Individual B, Fundraiser A, Lobbyist 1, Highway Contractor 1, Illinois Health Facilities Planning board, Friends of Blagojevich, ACPA (American Concrete Pavement Association), Children’s Memorial Hospital, Hospital Executive 1, Antoin “Tony” Rezko, Individual C ("a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives who is believed to be attempting to assist ROD BLAGOJEVICH in passing a capital bill worth billions of dollars that would benefit Highway Contractor 1 and the trade association with which he is affiliated"),

B. Evidence Concerning Corrupt Conduct by ROD BLAGOJEVICH and JOHN HARRIS in and After October 2008
_____1. Evidence Concerning Efforts to Obtain Campaign contributions In Exchange for Official Acts
__________a. Information Obtained From Individual A

59. Since October 2008, the FBI has conducted multiple interviews with individual A, who is an associate of ROD BLAGOJEVICH and has assisted in campaign fundraising for ROD BLAGOJEVICH.16 Individual A has advised agents that he/she has been present for and participated in multiple conversations with ROD BLAGOJEVICH in recent months regarding campaign fundraising. According to Individual A, ROD BLAGOJEVICH and Fundraiser A, who is the chairman of Friends of Blagojevich, are making a strong push to raise campaign funds before a new state ethics law goes into effect on January 1, 2009, that will prohibit any individual or entity with existing state contracts of more than $50,000 from contributing to entities like Friends of Blagojevich.

60. In response to questions posed by agents, Individual A has described efforts by ROD BLAGOJEVICH and Fundrasier A to obtain campaign contributions from state contractors by the end of the year. Specifically, Individual A advised that ROD BLAGOJEVICH is seeking a total of approximately $2.5 million in campaign contributions by the end of the year, principally from or through individuals identified on a list maintained by Friends of Blagojevich. The FBI has obtained a copy of that list, which identifies individuals and entities targeted for campaign contributions, as well as amounts sought from those individuals and entities. A comparison of the names and entities on that list with information available from public sources and FBI investigative files reflects that numerous of the individuals and entities on that list have state contracts or have received public benefits conferred by ROD BLAGOJEVICH, such as appointments to positions in state government.

61. In response to questions, Individual A has advised agents of incidents involving efforts by ROD BLAGOJEVICH to obtain campaign contributions in connection with his official actions as Governor. Three such incidents are related below.

62. On October 6, 2008, Individual A and Individual B attended a meeting with
ROD BLAGOJEVICH and JOHN HARRIS. Individual B sought the meeting with ROD BLAGOJEVICH to discuss help ROD BLAGOJEVICH could provide to Individual B’s business venture. After Individual B left the meeting, ROD BLAGOJEVICH informed Individual A that ROD BLAGOJEVICH liked Individual B and/or Individual B’s project and wanted Individual A to approach Individual B about raising $100,000 for Friends of Blagojevich by the end of the year. According to Individual A, he later learned that ROD BLAGOJEVICH reached out directly to Individual B to ask Individual B to hold a fund raiser for ROD BLAGOJEVICH before the end of the year.

63. According to Individual A, after Individual B left the meeting on October 6, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH told Individual A that he was going to make an upcoming announcement concerning a $1.8 billion project involving the Tollway Authority. ROD BLAGOJEVICH told Individual A that Lobbyist 1 was going to approach Highway Contractor 1 to ask for $500,000 for Friends of Blagojevich. ROD BLAGOJEVICH told Individual A that, “I could have made a larger announcement but wanted to see how they perform by the end of the year. If they don’t perform, fuck ‘em.” According to Individual A, he/she believed that ROD BLAGOJEVICH was telling Individual A that ROD BLAGOJEVICH expected Highway Contractor 1 to raise $500,000 in contributions to Friends of Blagojevich and that ROD BLAGOJEVICH is willing to commit additional state money to the Tollway project but is waiting to see how much money Highway Contractor 1 raises for Friends of Blagojevich.

64. A search of public information available on the internet reflects that Highway Contractor 1 is an officer of a company that is a large supplier of concrete in the state of Illinois. The search also reflected that Highway Contractor 1 is active in one of the largest trade associations, ACPA (American Concrete Pavement Association), in the road building industry in the state of Illinois. In addition, I am aware from public sources that on October 15, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH announced a plan to have new express lanes built on the Illinois Tollway in the next few years at a cost of $1.8 billion.

65. According to Individual A, on October 8, 2008, during a discussion of fundraising from various individuals and entities, the discussion turned to Children’s Memorial Hospital, and ROD BLAGOJEVICH told Individual A words to the effect of “I’m going to do $8 million for them. I want to get [Hospital Executive 1] for 50.” Individual A understood this to be a reference to a desire to obtain a $50,000 campaign contribution from Hospital Executive 1, the Chief Executive Officer of Children’s Memorial Hospital. Individual A said that he/she understood ROD BLAGOJEVICH’s reference to $8 million to relate to his recent commitment to obtain for Children’s Memorial Hospital $8 million in state funds through some type of pediatric care reimbursement. As described in further detail below, intercepted phone conversations between ROD BLAGOJEVICH and others indicate that ROD BLAGOJEVICH is contemplating rescinding his commitment of state funds to benefit Children’s Memorial Hospital because Hospital Executive 1 has not made a recent campaign contribution to ROD BLAGOJEVICH.

66. According to Individual A, during this same meeting, ROD BLAGOJEVICH began discussing recent media reports about the possibility that Antoin “Tony” Rezko was cooperating with the government. According to Individual A, at one point in the conversation, ROD BLAGOJEVICH said words to the effect that he was not concerned about Rezko’s cooperation because he was not involved in illegal activity with Rezko. According to the Individual A, Fundraiser A then said words to the effect of, “unless prospectively somebody gets you on a wire.”

67. On October 22, 2008, the FBI intercepted pursuant to a court order portions of a meeting held in a conference room at the Friends of Blagojevich office. The meeting was attended by ROD BLAGOJEVICH, Fundraiser A, and two lobbyists actively involved in fundraising for Friends of Blagojevich. FBI Special Agents have listened to a recording of the meeting. The voices on the recording are very low and at times are difficult to hear. However, based on a review of the recording, FBI Special Agents were able to determine the following: [17]

___(a) At approximately 10:15 a.m., and consistent with phone records, ROD BLAGOJEVICH called Highway Contractor 1. Only ROD BLAGOJEVICH’s portion of the phone call can be heard. The call started with ROD BLAGOJEVICH saying hello to “Mr. [Highway Contractor 1]” and noting that ROD BLAGOJEVICH was “excited” about the “Tollway” (believed to be a reference to ROD BLAGOJEVICH’s recent announcement of $1.8 billion in Illinois Tollway funding that will benefit Highway Contractor 1 and the trade association with which he is affiliated). ROD BLAGOJEVICH talked about speaking with “[Individual C],” (Individual C is a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives who is believed to be attempting to assist ROD BLAGOJEVICH in passing a capital bill worth billions of dollars that would benefit Highway Contractor 1 and the trade association with which he is affiliated) and began, in the context of asking Highway Contractor 1 to do fund raising, to discuss fund raising rule changes that will take effect on January 1, 2009. The conversation ended with ROD BLAGOJEVICH stating to Highway Contractor 1: “Call me if you need anything.”

[Footnote 16] Individual A is a subject, but not a target, of the criminal investigation concerning activities at the Illinois Health Facilities Planning board. Individual A has no criminal history and is not currently providing information to the government as part of any type of cooperation agreement. individual A’s attorney has indicated that Individual A hopes that the government will provide Individual A with immunity in exchange for Individual A’s truthful information. Individual A has declined the government’s requests to record in-person meetings or telephone conversations with the subjects of the investigation.

[Footnote 17]: Voice identifications of the individuals on the oral intercepts or, as described in detail below, on the phones, are preliminary. In most cases, voice identifications are based on names used during the intercepted conversations, as well as voice recognition that has been accomplished to date by FBI monitoring personnel and/or telephone subscriber information. In addition, quoted sections of intercepts or phone calls are based on preliminary analysis of the intercepts or calls and are not final transcripts. For purposes of clarification, I have added interpretations of certain sections of the phone calls within the quoted language by inserting the clarification in parentheses.

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