SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Latest on an investigator’s report on an alleged “scheme to defraud” by Democratic governor candidate J.B. Pritzker on property tax breaks on a Chicago mansion (all times local):
The Democratic nominee for Illinois governor says he will repay the Cook County treasurer more than $330,000 worth of property-tax breaks he received in what an investigator called a “scheme to defraud” taxpayers.
The Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday that campaign officials for J.B. Pritzker say the billionaire will repay the county by the end of next week. He will pay nearly $133,000 for refunds for 2012, 2013 and 2014. He will also pay nearly $199,000 for additional tax savings for 2015 and 2016.
The Chicago Sun-Times first reported on Monday that Cook County Inspector General Patrick Blanchard alleges in a report that Pritzker family members and an associate made “false representations” in sworn affidavits about the condition of a Chicago mansion the Pritzkers own. The report says the candidate’s wife M.K. Pritzker asked contractors to remove toilets so it could be deemed “uninhabitable” before a property-value reassessment.
The inspector general for Cook County says that Democratic governor candidate J.B. Pritzker engaged in a “scheme to defraud” taxpayers to get $330,000 in property tax breaks on a Chicago mansion.
Patrick Blanchard’s findings involved the Pritzkers removing toilets in a Gold Coast mansion to have it deemed uninhabitable. The confidential report was first disclosed by the Chicago Sun-Times Monday.
Blanchard says there were “false representations” made to the Cook County Assessor’s office to get the tax breaks.
He recommends that the county recover the money from the billionaire. Pritzker says he will “follow whatever the recommendations” are.
Pritzker faces Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner in the November election. He says the report was leaked to embarrass him. Rauner campaign spokesman Will Allison says it shows “J.B. Pritzker is a fraud.”