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Feds in plea talks with Vrdolyak co-defendant

Edward Vrdolyak

Former Chicago Ald. Edward Vrdolyak leaves the Dirksen Federal Building last year. | Santiago Covarrubias/Sun-Times file photo

A suburban lawyer indicted along with former Chicago Ald. Edward Vrdolyak appears to be in plea talks with federal prosecutors.

The feds originally charged Daniel Soso with tax evasion in May 2015.

Last November, he was indicted along with Vrdolyak, and he now faces additional charges of impeding the IRS and failing to file tax returns.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Amarjeet Bhachu tried to schedule Soso’s guilty plea during a status hearing Tuesday.

But Soso’s attorney could not attend Tuesday’s hearing for medical reasons. And without his attorney present to advise him, Soso asked the judge to hold off on scheduling the plea.

A trial for Soso and Vrdolyak is set for March 5. Lawyers hinted last April that a bigger indictment could be around the corner. Bhachu told U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve on Tuesday that he could offer no update on the possibility of new charges. St. Eve warned a new indictment could push back the trial.

The 19-page indictment handed down in November outlines Vrdolyak’s role in a scheme to pocket millions of dollars from Illinois’ $9.3 billion settlement with tobacco companies nearly two decades ago.

The indictment alleges Vrdolyak, 79, was promised $65 million from that settlement even though he “did no work on the Tobacco Lawsuit.”

It’s not clear how much money Vrdolyak made from the tobacco settlement, but federal prosecutors told a judge in 2010 that he “has a guaranteed income stream of $260,000 per year … until 2023 from tobacco-related litigation.”