SPRINGFIELD, IL - State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) sponsored and passed legislation to strengthen an existing law which mandates that those who are convicted of corruption must forfeit their profits. House Bill 909 expands the Public Corruption Profit Forfeiture Act so that those who fraudulently obtain money reserved for minority or women owned businesses must return all profits, property and property interest to the state.
"We are already falling short with supporting women and minority businesses in Illinois, and I have been an advocate to address this issue," Senator Raoul said. "We cannot allow this problem to be exacerbated by those who seek to fraudulently put themselves forth as a minority or women owned business."
The specific charges that the expanded Public Corruption Profit Forfeiture Act will address include bribery, kickbacks and intimidation of a public official. Raoul worked with the Attorney General Lisa Madigan on this legislation.
"Businesses that defraud the taxpayers cannot be allowed to profit from their illegal conduct," said Attorney General Madigan. "This bill will make it easier to go after those profits and make sure that defrauding programs designed to benefit legitimate businesses does not pay."
The Office of the Attorney General indicted Robert Blum and Castle Construction Corporation for fraudulently obtaining public money reserved for disadvantaged businesses in 2009, resulting in a March 2011 conviction. Subsequently, the Attorney General sued Blum and Castle for their actions, but a review of the defendant’s assets by the courts concluded they were no longer liable. HB 909 will correct this type of discrepancy.
The legislation has passed out of the Illinois General Assembly and will head to Governor Pat Quinn to be signed into law.
Years served: 2004 - Present
Committee assignments: Committee of the Whole; Judiciary; Pensions and Investments (Chairperson); Consumer Protection; Redistricting (Chairperson); Criminal Law (Vice-Chairperson); Telecommunications & Technology; Criminal Law Subcomm. Const. Review (Sub-Chairperson); Subcommittee on Pension Reform (Sub-Chairperson); Crim. Law Subcom Enhance/Redundancy.
Biography: Attorney; born September 30, 1964; Bachelor's degree from DePaul University; J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law; married (wife, Kali), has two children.