8 indicated on corruption charges
A federal grand jury has formally indicted former Cook County Commissioner Joseph Moreno as well as a Chicago alderman and six other defendants on federal corruption charges.
The indictment alleges Moreno and former Chicago Alderman Ambrosio Medrano accepted bribes in return for using their influence to steer public contracts to businesses.
Moreno, Medrano and two Chicago-area businessmen are charged with using bribery and kickbacks to sell bandages to public hospitals including Cook County's John H. Stroger Hospital, among other schemes, according to federal prosecutors.
The indictment claims Gerald W. Lombardi, 59, of Darien and Stanley Wozniak, 49, of Chicago agreed to pay Moreno $5 for every bandage the county purchased from their Lisle-based company, Chasing Lions, LLC. The men agreed to pay Medrano $2 for every bandage ordered by the county, according to the indictment.
A Chasing Lions representative sent Moreno and Medrano an email with an executive order that Wozniak and Gerald Lombardi wanted Moreno to use in drafting a county ordinance in support of businesses owned by service-disabled veterans, authorities allege. Chasing Lions, is a disabled veterans-owned business.
Wozniak and Lombardi were each charged with two counts of wire fraud and one count of bribery. Lombardi and his son Jerry A. Lombardi, 33 of Downers Grove, were each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bribery.
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. Medrano, 58, was charged with two counts of wire fraud and one count each of bribery and conspiracy to commit bribery.
The 10-count indictment also alleges Moreno accepted a $5,000 bribe to ensure the development of a waste transfer station in Cicero while he sat on a town economic panel, according to the indictment.
A second indictment returned Thursday charges Gustavo Buenrostro, 49, of Arlington Heights with conspiracy to commit bribery in a scandal involving a prescription medication services company.
Buenrostro is accused of conspiring to bribe an undercover FBI agent and a fictitious official of the Los Angeles County hospital system to do business with Sav-RX, according to the indictment.
The owner of the company, James Barta of Fremont, Neb., was also charged and is accused of making a $6,500 payment to the undercover agent with Buenrostro.
Ronald Garcia, 53, of Lockport was also named in the indictment as a new defendant on accusations that he provided Moreno a $100,000 home mortgage loan in 2007 and later released the mortgage even though Moreno had not fully repaid the loan. Prosecutors say Moreno and Garcia conspired to extort a company that won a county contract to use Garcia's company as a subcontractor.
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