Former State Representative Luis Arroyo gets 4 years and 9 months in prison for corruption


CHICAGO (CBS) — Former Illinois State Representative Luis Arroyo will spend nearly five years in federal prison for participating in a bribery scheme.

Arroyo, 67, pleaded blindly guilty in November to accepting thousands of dollars in bribes to promote a gambling bill legalizing lottery machines.

U.S. District Judge Steven Seeger sentenced Arroyo to 57 months – or four years and nine months – on Thursday.

Arroyo requested clemency due to his life of public service. But Judge Seeger had none of that – calling Arroyo’s conduct “dirty”.

Arroyo, 67, resigned from Illinois House in November 2019, just days after his first arraignment.

About a year after Arroyo was indicted, federal prosecutors added a co-defendant to his case, accusing Arroyo and video raffle company owner James Weiss of paying a state senator $2,500 per months in bribes in return for supporting pro-gaming legislation. industry.

Prosecutors said the two men concealed the payments by setting up a bogus consulting contract and sending a check from Weiss’s company, Collage LLC, to someone chosen by the senator.

Weiss is also accused of bribing Arroyo for supporting the same legislation. Weiss has pleaded not guilty and a trial date has not been set.

According to the charges, on August 2, 2019, Arroyo offered to have Weiss pay bribes to the senator in exchange for the senator’s support of the proposed pageant legislation.

Three weeks later, at a Skokie restaurant, Arroyo presented the senator with a check for $2,500 from Weiss’s raffle operation and told the senator that identical payments would continue for 6 to 12 months.

According to the FBI, the meeting was being taped and Arroyo told the senator “I’ll give you this here. This, this, this is the jackpot.”

In October 2019, Weiss sent the senator a package containing another check for $2,500 and a bogus consulting contract.

Weiss then lied to the FBI when questioned about the scheme, prosecutors say.

According to published information, Weiss is the son-in-law of former Cook County Democratic Party Chairman Joseph Berrios.

Federal prosecutors have not identified the senator they bribed in court documents, but multiple published reports have identified the lawmaker as former state senator Terry Link.

Link resigned from the Illinois Senate in 2020, just days before pleading guilty to filing a false tax return, admitting he underreported his income by tens of thousands of dollars in 2016.

Link has publicly denied being the state senator involved in the Arroyo case, but he cooperated with federal prosecutors under his own plea deal and, according to published reports, he wore a wire as part of the Arroyo investigation.


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