Thirteen members of Illinois’ powerful and elite political class have now been charged in fraud schemes by the U.S. Attorney’s office this year. At least two have some form of connection to President Obama: Jeri L. Wright, daughter of the controversial Reverend Jeremiah Wright whose church Obama attended; and Quinshaunta R. Golden, former Department of Public Health chief of staff to President Obama’s longtime friend Eric E. Whitaker.
Golden is also the niece of U.S. Congressman Danny K. Davis (D-IL).
The Chicago Sun-Times has compiled a run-down of all 13 cases filed so far. The charges range from money laundering, mail fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and witness tampering. The charges revolve around the fraudulent use of state health and commerce department grants and contracts.
Six of the 13 accused have already pleaded guilty and are scheduled to be sentenced in October and November. The remaining seven, including Wright’s daughter and Davis’s niece, have trials set through the beginning of December.
Jeri L. Wright is charged with money laundering and making a false statement before a grand jury. She is described as a “close associate and friend” of Regina and Ronald Evans (also indicted) and “accused of aiding the Evanses in their money-laundering scheme.”
Golden is accused of “pocketing about $433,000 in kickbacks on health department contracts and grants that she oversaw. Her boss at the time, Obama’s friend Whitaker, has said he is cooperating with the investigation.” The Times reports Whitaker “had no first hand knowledge” of the alleged activities.
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