By: Staff Report
CHICAGO, Ill. – A former Cook County Commissioner and Mayor of southwest suburban McCook, pleaded guilty in federal court today to extortion conspiracy and tax charges.
Jeffrey R. Tobolski admitted in a plea agreement that during his tenures as mayor and Cook County Commissioner he agreed to accept multiple extortion and bribe payments totaling more than $250,000. Tobolski admitted that he abused his elected positions in order to benefit individuals who paid him the money. One such arrangement cited in the plea agreement involved Tobolski scheming with a McCook police officer to accept cash payments from the owner of a McCook restaurant in exchange for Tobolski’s and the police officer’s permission to host events that involved the sale of alcohol.
Tobolski, 55, of McCook, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit extortion, which is punishable by a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison, and one count of filing a false tax return, which is punishable by up to three years. U.S. District Judge Harry D. Leinenweber did not immediately set a sentencing date.
The guilty plea 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 Field Office of the FBI; and Kathy A. Enstrom, Special Agent-in-Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation in Chicago. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher J. Stetler and Tiffany A. Ardam.
In regard to the tax charge, Tobolski admitted in the plea agreement that he willfully underreported his income on his tax returns for the calendar years 2012 through 2018. The conduct caused total losses to the IRS of at least $56,268, and the Illinois Department of Revenue of at least $9,338, the plea agreement states.