Key player in corruption case that led to Madigan indictment set for sentencing in August

Chinatown developer See Y. Wong wore a wire for the feds in an effort to get leniency in an unrelated wire fraud case.

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See Wong

Chinatown developer See Y. Wong, a key player in the corruption case that led to the indictment of former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, is set to be sentenced in August for an unrelated wire fraud case.

Provided

More than a year after pleading guilty in an unrelated case, a key player in the public corruption scandal that ultimately led to the indictment earlier this year of former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is finally set to be sentenced Aug. 16.

In a brief hearing Thursday, Dan Hesler, an attorney for Chinatown developer See Y. Wong, told U.S. District Judge Charles R. Norgle that his client had cooperated with prosecutors and that the “government recently decided we can proceed to sentencing.”

For five years, Madigan and then-Ald. Danny Solis secretly schemed to give developers control over a prime piece of land in Chinatown owned by the state if they would hire Madigan’s law firm for their property tax appeals, according to the sweeping federal indictment of Madigan and other court records.

The Chinatown scheme began in August 2014 when Wong secretly recorded a meeting he had with Solis and Madigan about a parking lot at Wentworth Avenue and Cermak Road owned by the Illinois Department of Transportation and next to the CTA’s Chinatown Red Line station, according to an affidavit an FBI agent filed in 2016 to obtain a warrant to search Solis’ City Hall office.

Madigan’s indictment doesn’t mention his meeting with Solis and Wong.

Wong helped the feds in hopes a judge would one day go easy on him in his own wire fraud case. Wong’s alleged scam revolved around the Canal Crossing condominium development in Chinatown.

Wong allegedly lied to condo 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 $170,100 wire transfer Wong made in May 2010.

As part of the November 2020 plea deal, Wong agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. The wire fraud charge carries a sentence of up to five years and three months in prison, but prosecutors agreed to recommend a substantially lower prison term.

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