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MAN WHO RECORDED MADIGAN, LED BURKE CHARGES, PLEADS GUILTY

See Wong, a Chicago developer who recorded Speaker of the House Michael Madigan and former Ald. Danny Solis for federal investigators, pleaded guilty to wire fraud Nov. 13, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.


Wong is part of a far-reaching investigation that resulted in charges against Ald. Ed Burke and added to the trail investigators have followed involving Madigan.


The Sun-Times reports Wong lied to buyers and Cathay Bank regarding the Canal Crossing development in Chinatown. The bank gave $13.7 million to Emerald Homes, which was owned by Wong. His scheme cost the bank $1.8 million and buyers of condominiums in the development $1 million.


Wong’s scheme took place in 2010 and he made recordings for investigators with the hope of future leniency.


The Sun-Times first identified Wong as an informant in January 2019. They learned he had secretly record Solis and Madigan in 2014 after Solis arranged a visit for Wong with Madigan at the law office of Madigan and Getzendanner about a different development project. A federal affidavit alleges Solis had agreed to take action in his position as alderman to privately benefit Madigan.


Investigators used Wong’s recording to convince Solis to record Burke, which eventually led to Burke’s arrest.


Burke pleaded not guilty in June 2019 to 14 corruption charges, including extortion and using his position on the City Council to steer business to his law firm for personal gain.


The recordings also led federal investigators to seek more information about Madigan’s relationships after he was implicated in bribery charges filed against ComEd. A grand jury subpoena issued to Madigan on July 17 requested records related to the meeting between Wong, Solis and Madigan. Madigan has not been charged with a crime and denies any wrongdoing.


As Madigan becomes more wrapped up in the federal investigation, trust from members within his own party is dwindling. Gov. J.B. Pritzker and U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth want him to resign as chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois. Multiple Democrats in the Illinois House of Representatives have said they will no longer support Madigan’s bid for speaker, and Rep. Stephanie Kifowit has already announced she will challenge him for the leadership job.