Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Contractor sentenced to 3 years for bribing former Markham mayor

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A southwest suburban contractor has been sentenced to more than three years in prison for bribing the former mayor of Markham in exchange for city contracts.

Michael Jarigese, 67, was found guilty last year of nine counts of wire fraud and one count of bribery for paying more than $80,000 to David Webb Jr., according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois.

Jarigese, who lives in Frankfort, was the president of Mokena-based Tower Contracting LLC at the time of the bribes, prosecutors said. Jarigese paid Webb using false invoices from his company and used coffee cups to conceal cash bribes, which Webb accepted in exchange for a multi-million dollar construction contract.

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“By bribing Webb, Jarigese rigged the system, ensuring that Tower’s uncompetitive and unchallenged proposals were the only option presented to the Markham City Council,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum.

U.S. District Judge Robert W. Gettleman sentenced Jarigese to three years and five months in prison Thursday, prosecutors said. The company, which was also found guilty in the scheme, was fined $1.2 million and sentenced to four years of probation.

Webb, who served as mayor of Markham from 2001 to 2017, pleaded guilty to the scheme before the trial began, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

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