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Feds seek records from company co-owned by Clerk Dorothy Brown

Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown. | Rich Hein / Sun-Times

Prosecutors have ordered the disclosure of financial records tied to a company co-owned by Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown.

The records sought are connected to a former employee of Brown’s, Sivasubramani Rajaram, who gave $15,000 to Goat Masters Corporation, headed by Brown’s husband, Benton Cook III.

Federal prosecutors requested that Cook produce, among other records, financial statements, payment and accounts records, as well as receipts.

The citation was delivered Wednesday to Brown and Cook’s home in the 8800 block of South Constance, records show. Cook signed for the delivery.

Last February, Rajaram admitted he lied under oath to a grand jury investigating the purchasing of jobs and promotions in Brown’s office.


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Rajaram worked in the circuit clerk’s office for more than a decade before leaving in 2011, records show. He lived in India, then moved back to the Chicago area in August 2014, returning to Brown’s office the following month, records show.

Rajaram claimed he hadn’t spoken to Brown since his rehiring and he said he had spoken to a high-ranking clerk’s office employee “maybe like three or four times” during that period, but not by phone. Neither statement was true.

He was sentenced to three years probation after he said he feared retaliation.

Brown has denied wrongdoing in the investigation and neither she nor her husband has been charged.

Last February, prosecutors revealed that at least one other employee of Brown’s helped fund Brown’s husband’s business. They not did not identify that individual, other than as “a senior-level Clerk’s Office employee.”

But they were explicit that Brown herself asked for the money.

Brown’s county-issued cellphone was seized in fall 2015 as part of the investigation.

Shortly after that, the Better Government Association, Chicago Sun-Times and FOX Chicago TV revealed that Goat Masters was listed on federal subpoenas involving the circuit clerk’s office.