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Key player in city, state public corruption investigation pleads not guilty in fraud case

See Y. Wong, 61, faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Developer See Wong
Developer See Wong
Courtesy of YoChicago.com

A man who played a key role in the federal corruption investigation that helped lead to last year’s indictment of Ald. Edward M. Burke pleaded not guilty in an unrelated fraud case Friday.

See Y. Wong, 61, was expected to be arraigned in March but that was before the coronavirus pandemic. So instead, he entered his plea Friday during a teleconference.

Wong made a secret 2014 audio and video recording for the feds of then-Ald. Danny Solis and House Speaker Michael Madigan, according to court records and sources. That recording became part of the investigation that persuaded Solis to then secretly record Burke.

Wong cooperated with the feds in hopes a judge would one day go easy on him in the fraud case filed in March. Wong’s alleged scam revolved around the Canal Crossing condominium development in Chinatown. Wong is accused of lying to buyers and to Cathay Bank. The bank loaned $13.7 million for the project to Emerald Homes, of which Wong was an owner. The feds say the scheme cost the bank $1.8 million and buyers of the condominiums $1 million.

Specifically, the feds pointed to a $170,000 wire transfer Wong made nearly 10 years ago, on May 18, 2010.

On Friday, Wong was told he could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of the single count of fraud. He remains free on a $10,000 bond.