Suburban businessman gets probation for bribing state Sen. Martin Sandoval.

When Wohrmann wanted to buy state-owned property next door to his logistics company in McCook, federal prosecutors said the town’s mayor suggested he ask South Suburban Sen. Martin Sandoval, chairman of the state Senate’s transportation committee, to buy the property next door to his logistics company. Contact.

At Tuesday’s sentencing hearing, federal prosecutors also said that then-Mayor Jeffrey Tobolsky, the mayor of McCook, hosted a Christmas party at his home each year where local businessmen were expected to collect cash in a basket. was carried out, and Mirkhev was among them. Put in.

Mirkhif reached out to Sandoval, and, in return for a $15,000 bribe, the influential senator was able to expedite the sale of the land, which Mirkhif had purchased as the sole bidder at a state auction.

Assistant U.S. Attorney James Durkin said in McCook in 2019, before a wave of indictments against public officials across the state, “corruption was widespread and I think any business owner was a potential target, Assistant U.S. Attorney James Durkin said. Mirkheff was an easy target for predatory politicians in the south suburbs, Durkin said, arguing that the businessman deserved a lighter sentence after cooperating with investigators against Sandoval, Tobolsky and Patrick Doherty, a Tobolsky aide. . Tobolsky and Doherty were identified in Mirkhaef’s plea agreement as “Public Official A” and “Public Employ A,” but Durkin and Mirkhaef’s attorney, Sergio Acosta, referred to them by name during Tuesday’s hearing. gave

Regrettably, U.S. District Judge Mary M. Rowland agreed with that assessment, sentencing Mirkheff to two years of probation on charges he paid Sandoval, who pleaded guilty in 2020 to bribery and extortion charges. He later died of complications from COVID.

Mirkhif’s sentence includes 200 hours of community service and a $40,000 fine.

“I wish I had a government official here,” Rowland said later, before his sentencing. “I don’t want to take out my anger on the public official on the defendant.”

His head bowed, Mirkhev wept as he addressed the judge, saying that he was now caring for his dying father, who had fled Iran to the United States after the fall of the Shah and as a restaurant owner. But he supported his family.

“He’s in hospice now… he has no idea what’s going on,” Mirkhev said, holding back a ragged breath. “He must have been really disappointed. I can’t really tell you what it’s like to sit in your living room with your family and try to explain to your kids what you’ve done.”

Shortly after the sale closed in 2019, Sandoval came to Mirkhef’s logistics business, Cube Terminal, to make sure he would be paid.

FBI agents arrived at the Cube Terminal shortly thereafter, Durkin said, and Mirkhif almost immediately agreed to cooperate against Sandoval, as well as Tobolsky and Doherty.

Tobolsky pleaded guilty to extortion and tax evasion charges in 2020 and agreed to cooperate with an apparently wide-ranging investigation into corruption in the southern suburbs and the Legislature. Doherty pleaded guilty earlier this month to similar charges in a case that Durkin said was aided by evidence Mirkheff provided.

Sandoval’s death came months after he pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $250,000 from business owners and the Red Light Camera Company.

Durkin described Mirkheff as a fundamentally decent man, noting that the bribes Mirkhef paid Tobolsky were essentially the price of doing business at McCook.

Tobolsky, who was both a suburban mayor and a member of the Cook County Board, held a Christmas party at his home every year for business owners who, like Mirkheff, would “throw some money in a basket at Mr. Tobolsky’s house.” were.”

Dworkin said the gift gave Mirkheff benefits such as a break from village inspectors — who allowed Mirkhef to place larger containers on his property than local ordinances allowed — and prevent Tobolsky from interfering with the business.

Rowland repeatedly expressed her distaste for public corruption and seemed torn over whether to send Mirkheff to prison. Prosecutors had recommended a 14-month term, which is less than the more than two-year sentence prohibited by federal guidelines.

“If you’re in the kind of place where those kinds of payments are expected of your business, you go to a Christmas party and you put the money in the basket. And it’s just a disease in the local community. “Yes,” said Roland, shaking his head.

“You can’t do it [pay off public officials], and it is illegal to do so. But that’s to be expected. [by] local authorities.”

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