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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Illinois

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 25, 2021

Consultant Indicted on Federal Charges for Allegedly Providing Bribes to City of Chicago Officials to Benefit Clients

CHICAGO — A consultant has been indicted on federal charges for allegedly offering and providing bribes to City of Chicago officials in an effort to benefit his clients.

ROBERTO CALDERO in 2016 offered and arranged for bribes to be provided to a City of Chicago alderman and a Chicago Public Schools employee in exchange for them taking official actions to benefit Caldero’s clients, who were seeking a custodial services contract at CPS, an honorary street name designation in Chicago, and the renaming of a Chicago park, according to an indictment returned Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Chicago.  The benefits Caldero allegedly offered the CPS employee included future employment, champagne, discounted event space for a family event, and admission to an annual benefit for a museum.  To influence the alderman, Caldero arranged for campaign contributions to be made to political organizations affiliated with the alderman or his ward, the indictment states.  Unbeknownst to Caldero, the alderman was cooperating with the FBI and acting at the direction of law enforcement in connection with Caldero’s bribery efforts, the indictment states.

The indictment charges Caldero, 68, of Chicago, with four counts of honest services wire fraud, two counts of federal program bribery, and two counts of using a facility in interstate commerce to facilitate bribery.  Arraignment in federal court in Chicago has not yet been scheduled.

The indictment was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI.  The Chicago Public Schools Office of Inspector General participated in the investigation.  The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew Kutcher and Michelle Kramer.

The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt.  The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Honest services wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison.  Federal program bribery is punishable by up to ten years.  Using a facility in interstate commerce to facilitate bribery is punishable by up to five years.  If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal sentencing statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.

Topic(s): 
Public Corruption
Updated February 25, 2021