Ed Vrdolyak Gets Eighteen More Months

From the U.S. Attorney’s Office:

Former Illinois Attorney Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison for Tax Evasion in Connection with Legal Fees from Tobacco Litigation

CHICAGO — Former Illinois attorney EDWARD R. VRDOLYAK was sentenced today to 18 months in federal prison for assisting another lawyer in evading taxes on income received from a multi-billion dollar legal settlement with tobacco companies.

U.S. District Judge Robert M. Dow, Jr., imposed the sentence after a hearing in federal court in Chicago. 

Vrdolyak, 82, of Chicago, pleaded guilty last year to one count of tax evasion.

The sentence was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Tamera Cantu, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division in Chicago; and Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI.  The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Amarjeet S. Bhachu and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael T. Donovan.


Vrdolyak admitted in a plea agreement that he assisted another lawyer, co-defendant DANIEL P. SOSO, in evading federal income taxes owed by Soso. 

The income was derived from attorney fees received in connection with a $9.2 billion settlement between the State of Illinois and a number of tobacco companies in the 1990s. 

At the time of the settlement, Vrdolyak and Soso were licensed Illinois attorneys. 

The pair collected legal fees from the settlement pursuant to agreements with one of the attorneys that represented the State of Illinois. 

Pursuant to these agreements, Vrdolyak made payments to Soso between 2000 and 2005 of approximately $1,925,830, representing Soso’s agreed-upon share of the fees from the litigation.

In August 2005, the IRS served a notice of levy on Vrdolyak, which required the turnover of all salary, wages and other amounts owed to Soso. 

Over the next two years, Vrdolyak received approximately $262,854 due Soso, but he concealed receipt of these funds from the IRS, knowing such concealment would assist Soso in evading the payment of taxes and assessments. 

Vrdolyak admitted in the plea agreement that he later caused approximately $170,242 to be paid to Soso instead of remitting the funds to the IRS.

Soso, of Alsip, also pleaded guilty to tax evasion. 

Judge Dow in March sentenced Soso to two years in prison.

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Vrdolyak is more than “a former attorney,” of course.

Here is Mayor Aaron Shepley asking him a question at a 2007 City Council meeting:


Ed Vrdolyak Gets Eighteen More Months — 5 Comments

  1. The Council Wars that pitted the Two Eddies (Vrdolyak and Burke) vs Harold Washington and his crew was one of the most entertaining periods in Chicago history.

    It could have only happened in Chicago; everyone involved was as crooked as the day is long, just about everybody in the City knew it, and no one really cared.

    It was our crooks vs their crooks.

  2. If Ed Vrydolyak and Ed Burke bided their time, instead of opposing Harold Washington, they would have been mayor after Washington’s death, instead of Eugene Sawyer and Richard M. Daley. ☹️

  3. While Kim fox gets nothing yeah that’s fair in toilet land

  4. Wasnt that “Big” Bill Cellini, coming to the mic to address a question?…reminder if so, of just the kind of scum Eddie V. and others ran with…testament to Illinois politics and politicians, lobbyists involved with business deals and towns. Sandoval history and his passing today further testament to it…

    Annie Sweeney, Chicago Tribune reporter Oct 2012
    William Cellini, a longtime Republican lobbyist and fundraiser, had operated in the shadows of Illinois government, cozying up to politicians in both parties to build formidable clout and expand his influence and wealth.

    On Thursday, Cellini — convicted last year as part of the takedown of the scandal-plagued Blagojevich administration — stood before a federal judge in a packed courtroom and pleaded for mercy, asking to be spared time behind bars in “the twilight of my remaining years.”

    Cellini, who turns 78 next month, called the past five years the most trying and difficult of his life.

    “My health is broken,” said Cellini, who has suffered recent health ailments. “My life expectancy is very short.”

    But U.S. District Judge James Zagel refused the plea for a sentence of probation, saying Cellini made a series of “unwise decisions” when he joined with other political insiders, including Rod Blagojevich’s closest advisers, and conspired to extort a Hollywood producer for a campaign contribution.

    Noting Cellini’s age, Zagel said the crimes were not an accident.

    “It is the nature and culture of Springfield, and, for that matter, Washington, that people like to be able to be thought of as people who have influence. … That is something that’s hard to give up even as you are aging.”

    Zagel then sentenced Cellini to one year and a day in prison. Under federal sentencing rules, Cellini is expected to serve 10 months.

    There was little reaction in the courtroom, which was filled with Cellini supporters.

    Cellini is the last major defendant in the wide-ranging Operation Board Games investigation to be sentenced. Of the roughly 15 convictions in the probe — which included Blagojevich, several of his top advisers and a former Chicago alderman — Cellini stood out as someone accused of using decades of work as a lobbyist and fundraiser to get close to the decision-makers and benefit from the relationships.

  5. Bob you are on target, except that Zagel was the biggest crook of all!

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