This post is being run considering the 'Chicago cabal' has been mentioned repeatedly in the discussions of Hawks Cafe, Captain Sherlock and the Abel Danger Team.
Senate race in Illinois: New meaning for toxic loans.
By Editorial Board St. Louis Post-Dispatch
04.27.2010 9:01 pm
At last report, Alexi Giannoulias, the Democratic candidate for U.S. senator from Illinois, finally had been invited to appear with President Barack Obama in Quincy today. But this, as in most things political in Illinois, is subject to last-minute change.
Perhaps only in Illinois would there be any doubt that a president who returns to his home state would share the spotlight with an old basketball buddy who is his party’s candidate for the Senate seat that he once held.
But Mr. Giannoulias has potentially toxic political problems stemming from the years he spent working at Chicago’s Broadway Bank, founded by his father and run, at least until last Friday, by his older brother. The problems include the bank’s loans to Antoin “Tony” Rezko, the Democratic fundraiser associated with former Gov. Rod Blagojevich and Mr. Obama, as well as to figures tied to organized crime.
Mr. Giannoulias finessed those problems in his successful 2006 race for state treasurer. But for months, U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk of Highland Park, the Republican nominee for the Senate, has been hammering them to great effect. Ten days ago, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., reportedly approached the White House with a plea for the president to lend more support to the Giannoulias campaign.
The White House political office, which had been lukewarm to Mr. Giannoulias’ candidacy from the start, demurred. On Friday, we learned why: State and federal banking regulators closed Broadway Bank; the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. sold the bank’s assets to another Chicago bank. FDIC insurance will cover nearly $400 million in guaranteed deposits.
This has been a great boon to Mr. Kirk’s campaign and increases the odds that Democrats this fall could find themselves losing what had been Mr. Obama’s Senate seat. It is occupied now by Sen. Roland Burris, appointed by Mr. Blagojevich after — federal indictments charge — the then-governor tried to sell it for his own personal gain.
But he did cite his banking experience in the treasurer’s race. And the bank did loan money to Rezko, the Blagojevich bag-man convicted of fraud and bribery in 2008. And after he became chief loan officer in 2004 at the tender age of 28, he was part of the banking brain trust that loaned $26 million to a partnership that included an ex-mob bookie named Michael “Jaws” Giorango.
Source: Chicago Tribune
$20 million in loans to felons
Broadway Bank lending, when Alexi Giannoulias was senior loan officer, detailed
By David Jackson, John Chase and Ray Gibson, Tribune Reporters
April 1, 2010
The family bank of Democratic Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias loaned a pair of Chicago crime figures about $20 million during a 14-month period when Giannoulias was a senior loan officer, according to a Tribune examination that provides new details about the bank's relationship with the convicted felons.
Broadway Bank had already lent millions to Michael Giorango when he and a new business partner, Demitri Stavropoulos, came to the bank in mid-2004. Although both men were preparing to serve federal prison terms, the bank embarked on a series of loans to them.
Stavropoulos in 2005 began a two-year sentence following a felony conviction for running a multi-state bookmaking ring, while Giorango would serve six months intermittent confinement on a felony for promoting a nationwide prostitution scheme as Broadway financed their land deals from downtown Chicago to Florida, California and South Carolina.