Illinois TRS Attorney Pleads Guilty To Making Threat

September 15, 2005 ( - Joseph Cari, an attorney for the Illinois Teachers' Retirement System (TRS) and former finance chairman of the Democratic National Committee pleaded guilty to threatening to bar an investment company from doing business with the Illinois State Teachers Pension Fund unless it agreed to hire a consultant.

According to, Cari and attorney Steve Loren agreed to help federal prosecutors in their investigation of corruption at the pension fund in exchange for a break when they are sentenced.   Both attorneys pleaded guilty in August to charges relating to alleged kickbacks from private firms wanting to invest money for the TRS (See  Attorneys Indicted In IL State Pension Scandal ).

Cari, pleaded guilty to one count of attempted extortion and could face 37 to 46 months in prison under federal sentencing guidelines unless he cooperates.  

In his plea agreement, Foxnews reports, Cari admitted he had phoned the unnamed investment firm and threatened to have its investment offer removed from the agenda of a pension fund board meeting unless executives of the firm signed a blank contract with a consultant based in the Caribbean.