Springfield, Illinois, Woman Sentenced to Three Years of Probation for Pandemic Benefit Related Wire Fraud
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A grand jury today indicted former Illinois State Senator Sam McCann on charges of fraud, money laundering, and tax evasion related to his alleged misuse of campaign money for personal expenses. The indictment alleges that from May 2015 to June 2020, McCann engaged in a scheme to convert more than $200,000 in contributions and donations made to his campaign committees to pay himself and make personal purchases, and that he concealed his fraud from donors, the public, the Illinois State Board of Elections and law enforcement authorities.
The indictment was announced by Central District of Illinois U.S. Attorney John C. Milhiser; FBI Special Agent in Charge Sean M. Cox, Springfield Division; and, IRS Criminal Investigation Acting Special Agent in Charge David Talcott, St. Louis Field Office.
William Samuel McCann, Jr., 51, of Plainview, Ill., served as a state senator for the 49th District of Illinois from 2011 to 2013, and for the redrawn 50th District from 2013 to January 2019. McCann formed the Conservative Party of Illinois and in 2018, launched an unsuccessful bid for Illinois Governor. McCann previously lived in Carlinville, Ill., and owned and operated two construction related businesses.
McCann organized multiple political committees that were registered with the Illinois State Board of Elections: Sam McCann for Senate; Sam McCann for Senate Committee; McCann for Illinois; and, Conservative Party of Illinois. According to the indictment, from April 2011 to November 2018, McCann and his political committees received more than $5 million in campaign donations.
The indictment alleges multiple instances when McCann used campaign funds to purchase personal vehicles, pay personal debts, make mortgage payments, and pay himself, including the following:
In addition to wire fraud and money laundering, the indictment charges McCann with one count of tax evasion related to his joint return for calendar year 2018. McCann allegedly failed to report income from his 2018 rental payments to himself for the RV trailer and motor home. In addition, in March 2018, McCann used a $10,000 check issued by a campaign account to make a down payment to a Shipman, Ill., business for a motor home. When the purchase was not completed, the business issued a $10,000 refund check payable to William McCann, which he deposited to his personal checking account and failed to report as income received.
McCann is scheduled to appear via telephone conference on Feb. 16, 2021, at 2:00 p.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Tom Schanzle-Haskins for arraignment.
For the period of the alleged fraud scheme, from May 2015 to June 2020, the estimated loss is more than $200,000. If convicted, the statutory penalty for each count of wire fraud (seven counts) and one count of money laundering is up to 20 years in prison. For tax evasion, the statutory penalty is up to five years in prison.
The charges are the result of investigation by the FBI and IRS Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy A. Bass is representing the government in the prosecution.
Members of the public are reminded that an indictment is merely an accusation; the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.