By: Freelance Reporter Joan Ross, Posted February 26, 2015 at 4:03 pm US/Central Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The daughter of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the former pastor of President Barack Obama, a former president of the Chicago branch of National Action Network, and former girlfriend of Rev. Al Sharpton was sent to jail this week by a federal judge who revoked her bond in a money laundering case.
Wright, 49, of Hazel Crest, was convicted last March of 11 corruption counts, including money laundering and lying to a grand jury, in a case tied to a state grant. Her father, a lightning rod in Obama’s 2008 campaign, was not involved in the case.
While she had been allowed to remain free on bond and not arrested or incarcerated in the first money laundering case, her sense of entitlement and repeatedly getting away with things (perhaps because of her father’s position and his being President Obama’s pastor) she created yet another crime for herself and will remain incarcerated until sentencing.
Federal prosecutors successfully argued that her bond should be revoked, alleging she had participated in a ghost pay-rolling scheme at a private company in Indiana after her money laundering conviction. She has not been charged based on the ghost pay-rolling allegations, but the judge ruled there was probable cause for such a case in Indiana.
U.S. District Judge Sue Myerscough rejected the argument by Wright’s attorney that she had performed the work for the Indiana company and ordered her taken into custody.
Wright removed her earrings, handed them to her attorney and left the courtroom in handcuffs.
Her sentencing in the money laundering case was moved up to March 20. It had been set for April 3. In that case, she was accused of taking as much as $11,000 as part of a scam involving Regina Evans, the former Country Club Hills police chief, who was sentenced to five years in prison. Evans had acquired a $1.25 million state grant secured in part to train people in bricklaying and electrical skills, but she went on a spending spree.
Since Wright’s conviction, she received $8,192 under the auspices of working at Berry Plastics in Franklin, Ind., prosecutors said. But Wright and others, including a former plant manager, were involved in a scheme in which she got paid as a temporary worker but actually didn’t do anything, prosecutors said.
On Monday, Wright offered some emails containing sparse information in an attempt to buttress her position that she did do work, but Assistant U.S. Attorney Tim Bass quickly poked holes in the argument. That included quizzing a company comptroller, who testified on Friday and Monday that Wright wasn’t a legitimate employee and was not seen at the small plant.
Bass said the Indiana allegations were similar to the money laundering case. “She received the money, and she spent it,” Bass said.
Wright’s attorney, Victor Henderson, asked the judge to consider putting Wright on house arrest until she is sentenced in the money laundering case. Myerscough said she wanted to avoid revoking the bond, but she ruled Wright should be locked up. The judge said she would reconsider if evidence surfaced that showed Wright actually had done any work for the Indiana firm.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Former Country Club Hills, Ill., police chief Regina R. Evans, 50, pled guilty to charges of fraud related to a $1.25 million state grant awarded in 2009 to We Are Our Brother’s Keeper, a not-for-profit program that Evans owned with her husband, Ronald W. Evans, Jr. She is currently serving her sentence in prison.
Regina Evans appeared before U.S. District Judge Sue E. Myerscough and entered an open plea of guilty to the following charges: conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering (one count); wire fraud (three counts); and money laundering (seven counts.) There is no plea agreement between the government and Evans.
Jeri Wright, daughter of President Barack Obama’s pastor Rev. Wright, was also convicted of making false statements to law enforcement officers and giving false testimony to a grand jury. The maximum penalty for money laundering is up to 20 years in prison, and five years in prison on the other counts. Sentencing is scheduled for July 7, 2014 but that date came and went. Jeri Wright’s friend Regina Evans began her stint in prison while Jeri Wright was out. Now they’re both serving time.
Barack Obama and Kwame Kilpatrick before he went to prison for bankrupting Detroit. He is currently serving a 28 year sentence.
In court documents Regina Evans admitted that she and her husband owned various for-profit and not-for-profit entities, including the Prime Time Group, Inc., the Regal Theater, LLC., and We Are Our Brother’s Keeper (WAOBK.) In February 2009, on behalf of WAOBK, Evans and her husband applied for grant funding offered under the Employment Opportunities Grant Program and administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO.)
In September 2009, DCEO disbursed the $1,250,000 award for the two-year period, beginning on June 1, 2009, and ending on May 31, 2011. The grant agreement provided for an estimated 40 participants to receive bricklaying and electrical pre-apprenticeship training and GED preparation, at the Regal Theater, another entity owned by the Evanses. In fact, Regina Evans admitted that little, if any, of the training proposed in the grant agreement, was ever completed.
Blogovitch has not quite accepted the reality that he’s in prison, telling friends and visitors that he is a ‘history teacher,” which is true. He is teaching history to his fellow inmates. Blogovitch is serving his 14 year sentence.
Continuing on with the Evans couple, they received a grant agreement provided for an estimated 40 participants to receive bricklaying and electrical pre-apprenticeship training and GED preparation, at the Regal Theater, another entity owned by the Evanses.
Instead, Evans admitted that she concealed her true financial status and that of her various business interests from DCEO and her intent to use a substantial portion of the grant funds shortly after their disbursement for repayment of indebtedness, including delinquent mortgage indebtedness for the Regal Theater. Within six months of the grant disbursement, Evans admitted that the $1.25 million was deposited into six separate accounts at the same financial institution, including $500,000 or more which was converted to the personal use and benefit of Evans and businesses she owned, including The Prime Time Group, Inc. and The Regal Theater, LLC, and to the use and benefit of Evans’s family members, friends and associates.
In a separate but related case, trial was scheduled for Regina Evans and her brother, Ricky McCoy. Evans and McCoy, 52, of Chicago, were charged with obstruction of justice, witness tampering, and conspiracy to obstruct justice and witness tampering, related to the ongoing investigation of the alleged fraudulent use of grant funds. In addition, McCoy is charged with three counts of money laundering. According to the indictment, McCoy served as the executive director of We Are Our Brother’s Keeper. The indictment alleged that on Nov. 12, 2009, a check in the amount of $16,249 was issued to McCoy, cashed, and the check’s proceeds deposited into a bank account controlled by the Evanses.
During happier times, Kwame Kilpatrick enjoying a laugh with Rev. Wright. Kwame is serving his 28 year prison sentence and Rev. Wright’s daughter Jeri will begin her sentence very soon.
Rev. Al Sharpton with Jeri Wright (new evidence prompted her arrest). Jeri Wright, of the Chicago suburb of Hazel Crest, was charged with two counts of money laundering, two counts of making false statements to federal officers, and seven counts of giving false testimony to a grand jury.
The state grant was for a not-for-profit work and education program called We Are Our Brother’s Keeper, owned by Regina Evans, former police chief of Country Club Hills, and her husband, Ronald W. Evans, Jr.
According to the indictment, Wright, a close friend of the couple, received three checks in 2009 worth about $28,000 that were supposed to be for work related to the grant. About $20,000 of that was allegedly deposited back into accounts controlled by the Evanses.
Jeremiah Wright was the Chicago pastor whose inflammatory church sermons, which often condemned U.S. attitudes on race, poverty, the Iraq War and other issues, became a focus during the 2008 presidential campaign.
Obama quieted the controversy with a speech putting the quotes in the context of race relations.
The money laundering count Jeri Wright faces carries a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison, while the other charges carry penalties of up to five years in prison. Everyone else involved has been quietly serving prison sentences. The only person in this mess that had avoided jail up until now has been Jeri Wright.
Unfortunately, when the judge heard testimony from the comptroller of a company that Jeri Wright was in fact involved with in a fake pay-roll, ‘no-show’ job and learned that Jeri had never actually even been to the company where she told the judge she had been working, the judge revoked her bail because what this really means is, that in spite of the trouble she is in, Jeri still had the audacity to lie to the judge directly.
Apparently, after having lied to a grand jury and still being allowed her freedom, she perhaps felt that lying to a judge directly was a small matter. She went ahead and lied to the one person that could determine her fate – the judge.
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