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July 17, 2024

Former Senator Sam McCann Sentenced To 42 Months In Federal Prison –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On July 10, 2024

Illinois (ECWd) –

We first wrote about former Illinois Senator and Gubernatorial Candidate Sam McCann 8 years ago this month where we highlighted his illegal acceptance of campaign funds from a county public hospital district, and his refusal to reimburse those funds to the public hospital.


From the IRS website:

Former Illinois state senator, gubernatorial candidate sentenced to 42 months in prison for
fraudulent use of campaign funds, money laundering, and tax evasion

Date: July 10, 2024

Contact: [email protected]

Former Illinois State Senator William Samuel McCann Jr was sentenced on July 9, 2024, to 42 months of imprisonment, to be followed by two years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $683,816.61 in restitution for fraudulent use of campaign funds, money laundering and tax evasion.

At the sentencing hearing and during the bench trial in February 2024, the government presented evidence that McCann engaged in a broad, five-year scheme to defraud by converting more than $600,000 in campaign funds to his personal use. In sentencing McCann, U.S. District Judge Colleen Lawless stated that McCann betrayed the public trust and continued his fraud even after being questioned by his campaign employee and confronted by federal law enforcement officers. In addition, Judge Lawless found it aggravating that McCann attempted to commit a fraud on the court by falsely representing that he was physically and mentally incapable of proceeding to trial.

McCann, of Plainview, Illinois, served as a state senator for the 49th District of Illinois from 2011 to 2013, and for the redrawn 50th District from 2013 to January 2019. McCann formed the Conservative Party of Illinois and, in 2018, launched an unsuccessful bid for Illinois Governor. McCann previously lived in Carlinville, Illinois, and owned and operated two construction-related businesses.

McCann organized multiple political committees that were registered with the Illinois State Board of Elections: Sam McCann for Senate; Sam McCann for Senate Committee; McCann for Illinois; and Conservative Party of Illinois. From April 2011 to November 2018, McCann and his political committees received more than $5 million in campaign donations.

The evidence presented during the bench trial and sentencing hearing established that McCann used campaign funds to purchase personal vehicles, pay personal debts, make mortgage payments, and pay himself, including the following:

McCann used more than $60,000 in campaign funds to partially fund the purchases of a 2017 Ford Expedition in April 2017 and a 2018 Ford F-250 truck in July 2018, which he titled in his own name and used for his personal travel. McCann then used campaign funds for loan payments on the F-250 and for fuel and insurance expenses for both vehicles, while at the same time using campaign funds to reimburse mileage expense claims which he did not incur.

In April 2018, McCann used $18,000 in campaign funds to purchase a 2018 recreational travel trailer, and in May 2018, he used $25,000 in campaign funds to buy a 2006 recreational motor home, both of which McCann titled in his personal name.

McCann established an online account with a recreational vehicle rental business in Ohio and listed the vehicles for rent identifying Sam McCann as the owner. McCann then established a second account with the same rental business and identified himself as William McCann, a potential renter, with a different residential address and email than those he listed as the owner. From approximately May 2018 to June 2018, McCann, while representing himself as the renter, William, rented both the travel trailer and motor home from Sam, the owner, through the RV rental business. McCann caused a total of approximately $62,666 in campaign funds be used to pay the rental cost of the vehicles. The rental business retained approximately $9,838 for commission and paid McCann, as the owner, approximately $52,827 by direct deposit to McCann’s personal checking account. McCann reimbursed the campaign accounts $18,000, resulting in more than $77,000 in campaign funds used to buy and rent from himself.

On or about October 4, 2016, McCann used a $20,000 cashier’s check funded by a campaign account and issued to him to pay off a personal loan, including legal fees, that had originally been issued to him as an equipment loan in 2011 and was in collection by the bank due to non-payment.

From May 2015 to August 2020, McCann used campaign funds to pay approximately $64,750 on two separate personal mortgage loans that were secured by his former residence in Carlinville and an adjoining property used as an office for his construction business.

In November 2018, after an unsuccessful campaign for Governor of Illinois, when he was no longer a candidate for office and did not financially support any other candidate, and continuing to June 2020, McCann caused the Conservative Party of Illinois to issue approximately $187,000 in payments to himself personally and an additional $52,282 in payments for payroll taxes. Using a payroll service, McCann was able to conceal himself as the payee for the expenditures from the campaign account.

McCann also converted more than $100,000 in campaign funds for payment of personal expenses including Green Dot credit card payments related to a family vacation in Colorado and other personal expenses; charges from Apple iTunes, Amazon, a skeet and trap club, Cabela’s, Scheels, Best Buy, and a gun store; and cash withdrawals.

In relation to his joint return for calendar year 2018, McCann failed to report income from his 2018 rental payments to himself for the RV trailer and motor home. In addition, in March 2018, McCann used a $10,000 check issued by a campaign account to make a down payment to a Shipman, Illinois, business for a motor home. When the purchase was not completed, the business issued a $10,000 refund check payable to William McCann, which he deposited to his personal checking account and failed to report as income received.

During the third day of his bench trial, McCann pleaded guilty to all nine counts of the indictment, which charged him with seven counts of wire fraud, one count of money laundering, and one count of tax evasion related to his alleged misuse of campaign money for personal expenses. Prior to the commencement of the trial, the court revoked McCann’s pretrial release and ordered that he be detained.

The statutory penalty for each count of wire fraud (seven counts) and one count of money laundering is up to 20 years in prison. For tax evasion, the statutory penalty is up to five years in prison.

Following the sentencing, U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Harris stated: “As Judge Lawless explained in imposing sentence, McCann brazenly betrayed the public trust by engaging in a five-year scheme to defraud and converting more than $600,000 in campaign funds to his personal use. Today’s sentence appropriately holds McCann accountable for his criminal conduct. I thank the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations Division for their tireless and professional work in this matter. This Office will continue to hold public officials accountable for violating the public trust by exploiting it for their own personal gain.”

“This sentence is a reminder that no one is immune to obeying the law,” said IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Thomas F. Murdock. “Mr. McCann took a number of steps to conceal his fraud from his donors, the Illinois public, and law enforcement. Now through the combined efforts of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the FBI and IRS CI, he will be held accountable for his deception.”

“Investigating public corruption is a top priority for the FBI because the crime tears at the fabric of our democracy’s security,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Jermaine Deans. “Elected officials are entrusted and expected to protect the interests of the people with integrity — a moral value Sam McCann did not uphold. The FBI, together with our law enforcement partners, will continue to investigate public officials who abuse public trust and use their office to commit illegal acts.”

The case investigation was conducted by IRS Criminal Investigation and the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Bass represented the government in the prosecution.


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  • Stan
    Posted at 11:36h, 11 July Reply

    Pled guilty to NINE counts, each carrying a penalty of 20 years. So, the judge gives him less than four years, total. Yes, there IS a two-tiered justice system. He should have at a minimum received the max for one of the nine. And good luck collecting the restitution. Disgusting.

  • Frank Draebin
    Posted at 15:51h, 11 July Reply

    During the third day of his bench trial, McCann pleaded guilty to all nine counts of the indictment, which charged him with seven counts of wire fraud, one count of money laundering, and one count of tax evasion related to his alleged misuse of campaign money for personal expenses. ”

    It apparently took this guy a long time to realize he was without a paddle on De Nile!

  • Droopy: Master Sergeant
    Posted at 17:43h, 11 July Reply

    This is exactly why things do not change in Illinois. No real consequences. He will get out and run again.

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