CHICAGO — A Chicago consultant has been indicted in federal court for allegedly corruptly offering money to an Illinois State Senator in connection with obtaining state approval for a suburban development project.
WILLIAM A. HELM, 56, of Chicago, is charged with one count of federal program bribery. The indictment was returned Thursday in U.S. District Court in Chicago. Arraignment is set for March 10, 2020, at 2:00 p.m., before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheila M. Finnegan.
The indictment was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the FBI; and Kathy A. Enstrom, Special Agent-in-Charge of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division in Chicago. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher J. Stetler and James P. Durkin.
According to the indictment, Helm and his consulting firm were retained by a construction company to assist in obtaining approval from the Illinois Department of Transportation for signalization and roadwork in connection with the company’s development project in East Dundee. The company sought approval from IDOT in 2017, the indictment states. From July 2018 to at least November 2018, Helm corruptly offered and agreed to pay money to influence and reward the senator in connection with IDOT approval of the project, the indictment states. At the time, the senator was Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee and was in a position to assist with obtaining such approvals, the indictment states.
The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The charge in the indictment is punishable by up to ten years in federal prison. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal sentencing statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.