David Saks: Two Former Cook County Board of Review Analysts Convicted of Bribery

David Saks - Real Estate Broker - The Real Estate Mart of Tennessee, Inc. - 4040 North Watkins-Suite #4 - Memphis, Tennessee 38127 - Phone (901) 357-4663

Two Former Cook County Board of Review Analysts Convicted of Bribery

Two Former Cook County Board of Review Analysts Convicted of Accepting $1,500 Bribe to Facilitate $10,000 Property Tax Reduction

U.S. Attorney’s Office October 28, 2013
  • Northern District of Illinois (312) 353-5300

CHICAGO―Two former analysts for the Cook County Board of Review were convicted today on federal conspiracy, bribery, and fraud charges for accepting $1,500 to facilitate reducing by more than $10,000 the property taxes on three residential properties identified by an individual who was cooperating with federal agents. The defendants, Thomas Hawkins and John Racasi, were captured scheming with others to facilitate reducing property tax assessments in exchange for bribes in undercover recordings that were played at their week-long trial in U.S. District Court. The jury deliberated for a couple of hours Friday before finding both defendants guilty on all counts this morning.

Hawkins was an analyst since December 2004, and Racasi was an analyst since March 2006, and both were on the staff of one of the three Board of Review commissioners in September 2008, when they accepted the $1,500 bribe payment. Each of the three commissioners has analysts who handle residential property tax appeals and at least two of the three commissioners’ analysts must agree in order to reduce the Cook County Assessor’s property tax assessments.

Hawkins, 49, and Racasi, 52, half-brothers and both of Chicago, were convicted of one count each of conspiracy to commit bribery, bribery, mail fraud, and mail fraud conspiracy. They remain free on bond while awaiting sentencing, which U.S. District Judge John Tharp set for 2 p.m. on February 25, 2014.

Mail fraud and mail fraud conspiracy each carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; bribery carries a maximum of 10 years; and conspiracy to commit bribery carries a maximum of five years in prison, and each count carries a $250,000 maximum fine. The court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.

The guilty verdicts were announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Robert J. Shields, Jr., Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI's Chicago City Public Corruption Task Force led the investigation with assistance from the Chicago Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division, which is a task force member.

According to the evidence at trial, Ali Haleem, a former Chicago Police officer who began cooperating with the FBI in July 2008 and is awaiting sentencing on other federal charges, was introduced to Hawkins, who, in turn, introduced him to Racasi.

Haleem recorded numerous meetings and telephone conversations with both defendants in which they discussed facilitating property tax assessment reductions in exchange for bribes.

In September 2008, Haleem, Hawkins, and Racasi discussed the specifics of the bribe Haleem would pay for reducing tax assessments on properties in Chicago, Burbank, and Tinley Park. On September 11, 2008, Hawkins and Racasi agreed to reduce the assessed values on properties Haleem owned in Chicago and Burbank, as well as a property in Tinley Park owned by another individual, for three years beginning with the 2008 tax year. Hawkins and Racasi provided Haleem with analysis sheets for these properties, which could be used to calculate the tax savings that a property owner would realize over the three-year period. In return for the $1,500 bribe, Hawkins and Racasi promised Haleem a total tax savings for the three properties over the three-year period of at least approximately $10,000. The payment was made on September 17, 2008, when Haleem met with Hawkins and Racasi and handed the money to Racasi. Hawkins assured Haleem that Racasi would later provide Hawkins with his share of the money.

Hawkins and Racasi also facilitated a reduction in property tax assessments on 10 condominium units in Chicago, expecting to receive bribe payments that Haleem would collect from the property owners once the reductions were verified.

The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Margaret J. Schneider and Michael T. Donovan.\

source: FBI


David Saks

Time&Temp Memphis

Legal Disclaimer
Please be advised that:

 The information and notices contained in this blog are intended to summarize recent developments and news. The posts are presented as general research and information. These posts are not intended, nor should be regarded, as legal advice. Some blog posts concern allegations made in civil lawsuits and in criminal indictments in United States Courts. All persons are presumed innocent until convicted of a crime and proven guilty. Readers who have particular questions or who believe that they need legal counsel should seek the advice of a qualified attorney. It is neither the editor's or author's intention to create a confidential relationship or any broker-client relationship via communication from this site at any time. Please consult with your state real estate board if questions & answers in the education section conflict with the laws of your region or if you need clarification regarding their applicability or how they may govern the services that you provide.

By entering this web site, you understand the following:
When you select a link to an outside Web site, you are subject to the privacy, copyright, security, and information quality policies of that Web site. David Saks:
1.DOES NOT control or guarantee the accuracy, legality, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information contained on a linked Web site;
2.DOES NOT endorse linked Web sites, the views they express, or the products/services they offer unless linked web sites, the views they express, or the products/services they offer endorse or support David Saks in accordance with the standards of the Tennessee Real Estate Commission and the Federal Government's laws regarding commerce and the application, solicitation and transmission of internet-related concerns, commerce or social networking;
3.CANNOT authorize the use of copyrighted materials contained in linked Web sites;
4.IS NOT responsible for transmissions users receive from linked Web sites;
5. That DavidSaks.Com is biographical & real estate related. Some links within will leave this site.
6. http://activerain.com/profile/davidsaks is internet-compliant & abides by the rules & regulations of the Tennessee Real Estate Commission, Eve Maxwell, Executive Director.
7. Unless indicated otherwise, ActiveRain does offer listings, or IDX and is provided for licensed salespersons, brokers, buyers & sellers of real property as a community & professional service.
8. David Saks is a retired / licensed real estate broker in the State of Tennessee, license #290452, and an independent contractor.
9. Information is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed, at any realty link or document connected to the World Wide Web & viewable by anyone connected to the internet who has a web browser.
10. Brokers, buyers, sellers, agents & anyone should independently verify any information prior to submitting any offer to purchase goods & services from any link.
11. Please Visit The American Real Estate Alliance or Memphis.8k.Com for additional information regarding property issues for real estate professionals and consumers.


Photos © & Licensed by Nova Development

All Content Protected © 
Before you even think about
committing a real estate crime
click this red button.
Real Estate Crimes

© All Rights Reserved.





"Information generated by the Department of Justice is in the public domain and may be reproduced, published or otherwise used without the Department’s permission. Citation to the Department of Justice as the source of the information is appreciated, as appropriate."

Department of Justice Legal Policies


  Real Estate Crimes


Click "HERE" For Today's Question



TheListen Now!

David Saks Show

Saturday Nite

9pm-12am Central

University of Memphis



America's Hobby

Click Elvis

Mr.Saks' participation in ActiveRain ended April 13, 2015.

His blog archives will remain online.

May God bless you.

Comment balloon 2 commentsDavid Saks • October 28 2013 03:32PM


What are you kidding me.  Law breakers and or unethical activity in Cook County please say that is not true.

Posted by Richard Weeks, REALTOR®, Broker over 6 years ago

I'm completely astonished by it, Richard. Cook County ? No way ! It can't be.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 6 years ago

This blog does not allow anonymous comments