Education A State Capitals Roundup

Illinois Indictments Allege Pension-Fund Kickbacks

By Sean Cavanagh — August 09, 2005 1 min read

The U.S. attorney’s office for the Northern District of Illinois on Aug. 3 charged Stuart Levine, a lawyer, businessman, and former trustee of the Teachers’ Retirement System, with soliciting hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks and illegal payments.

Federal officials also charged two prominent Chicago lawyers, Joseph Cari and Steven Loren, with assisting Mr. Levine in the alleged scheme. The three men allegedly sought to extort money from investment firms seeking to do business with the retirement fund, which represents 325,000 teachers and school employees in districts outside of Chicago. The pension system, established by the state in 1939, listed net assets of roughly $31 billion in fiscal 2004.

Mr. Cari and Mr. Loren are cooperating with federal investigators, the U.S. attorney’s office said in a statement.

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A version of this article appeared in the August 10, 2005 edition of Education Week