Attorneys Indicted In IL State Pension Scandal

August 4, 2005 ( - Joseph Cari and Steve Loren, attorneys for the Illinois State Teachers' Retirement System (TRS), have been indicted for charges relating to alleged kickbacks from private firms wanting to invest money for the TRS.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the US Attorney’s office issued a statement that Cari is expected to plead guilty to a charge of attempted extortion and Loren is expected to plead guilty to a federal tax charge.

The US Attorney’s office investigation centers around former pension board member Stuart Levine who allegedly tried to win the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board approval of a project for MercyHospital to get a $1.5 million kickback from Jacob Kiferbaum who wanted its construction work (See  IL TRS Subpoenaed In US Attorney’s Investigation ).

The current indictment claims that Levinewanted a Virginia investment firm to sign a sham consulting contract agreeing to pay 1% of the $85 million dollars it wanted the fund to invest, the Sun-Times reports.   The newspaper said that the indictment quotes Cari as telling the firm’s lawyers, “That’s how things are done in Illinois.”

Loren, with the Gardner, Carton, and Douglas law firm, resigned due to the investigation.  Cari, with the law firm of Ungaretti & Harris, took a leave of absence.