Developer who wore wire against Moreno, Medrano pleads guilty to tax evasion
BY KIM JANSSEN Federal Courts Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org October 15, 2012 1:04PM
Michael DiFoggio exits the Dirksen Federal Building, 219 S. Dearborn St., Thursday, July 26, 2012, in Chicago. | John J. Kim~Sun-Times
Updated: October 15, 2012 6:37PM
A politically connected Bridgeport developer who acted as an FBI mole against a former Cook County commissioner and a former Chicago alderman pleaded guilty Monday to tax evasion.
Michael DiFoggio, 57, admitted he dodged more than $700,000 in taxes, spending part of the ill-gotten loot to pay for a pricey yacht.
Though he was told he could face up to five years behind bars, he is likely to receive a substantially reduced sentence thanks to the critical role he played in bringing cases against former Commissioner Joseph Mario Moreno and former Ald. Ambrosio Medrano, both of whom face corruption charges.
The Chicago Sun-Times revealed this summer that DiFoggio was wearing a wire for the feds in December 2010 when he allegedly handed Moreno a $5,000 cash bribe to ensure a garbage transfer station be located in Cicero.
DiFoggio also introduced Medrano to an undercover FBI agent who was posing as a crooked purchasing agent as part of a sting operation to snare businessmen looking to pay bribes for county hospital business, court records state.
In court Monday, DiFoggio pleaded guilty to tax evasion charges covering a seven-year period beginning in 2003 and ending in 2010, around the time he began cooperating with the FBI. He admitted cashing checks worth $2 million paid to his plumbing business, MDF Construction, at a currency exchange, to making deposits in a relative’s account and to using undisclosed income to pay a $300,000 loan on his boat in an attempt to evade income taxes.
He spoke only to explain that he understood his rights and that he left high school after three years without a diploma, declining to comment as he left court.
According to a plea deal agreed with prosecutors, the government will not request prison time for DiFoggio as long as he continues to cooperate, even though guidelines indicate a two to two-and-a-half year sentence would normally apply.
DiFoggio’s sentencing will be delayed until any cases that he is cooperating in are resolved so that he can be given proper credit, Judge Robert M. Dow ruled.