Oak Park man implicated in county kickback scheme

Four named in connection with fraud arrest

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By Anna Lothson

Staff Reporter

An Oak Park man, Kenneth Demos, 50, has been charged with failing to report a felony in connection with the recent arrest of a former Cook County official who is accused of fraudulently steering four county contracts.

Eugene Mullins, the former director of the Cook Country Department of Public Affairs and Communications was arrested, Aug. 2, for allegedly steering the contracts, each just under $25,000, to four acquaintances and then soliciting a portion of the payments as a kickback from each of them, according to an Aug. 2 release from the U.S Attorney's Office.

Mullins was indicted on fraud and corruption charges, while four others, including Demos, were charged with misprision of a felony, i.e. failing to report knowledge of a felony.

Mullins was charged with four counts of wire fraud and four counts of soliciting kickbacks in a 12-count indictment

Demos, along with the other three charged, were not arrested but are scheduled to be arraigned at later dates, according to the release. Gary Render, 43; Michael Peery, 51; and Clifford Borner, 45 — all of Chicago — were also named in the case.

According to the release, the arrest and charges were announced by Gary Shapiro, acting U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Anita Alvarez, Cook County state's attorney; Robert Grant, special agent in charge of the Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Patrick Blanchard, Cook County inspector general. The charges stem from a joint state and federal corruption investigation that resulted previously in pending state charges against Carla Oglesby, a former Cook County official, who allegedly also illegally steered county contracts under $25,000.

For Mullins, each count of wire fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. Each count of soliciting kickbacks carries a maximum of 10 years in prison. Demos' charge carries a maximum of three years in prison, and all counts carry a $250,000 maximum fine.

Email: anna@oakpark.com Twitter: @AnnaLothson

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