Defendant who cooperated in Blagojevich investigation agrees to plea deal
BY KIM JANSSEN Federal Courts Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org April 10, 2013 12:10PM
2001 Award Celebration of the America Israel Chamber of Commerce with Former President Bill Clinton, center, and (front row, from left) Sandy and Jacob Kiferbaum.
Updated: May 12, 2013 1:55PM
One of the last loose ends in Operation Board Games — the federal probe that led to former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s incarceration — was tied up Wednesday when crooked construction boss Jacob Kiferbaum agreed to a final plea deal.
Kiferbaum, 60, of Glencoe, was one of the first defendants indicted in Board Games, and his early cooperation with investigators led to a series of high-profile prosecutions that culminated in the governor’s conviction.
He long ago agreed to serve 27 months behind bars for extorting Edward Hospital in Naperville with the help of Blagojevich fund-raiser Stuart Levine. He also admitted extorting both the Chicago Medical School and Mercy Hospital.
But his new plea agreement also includes a $250,000 fine and new admissions about how he tried to conceal the scams.
Administrators at all three institutions he targeted knew Levine would use his position on the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board to block any construction projects unless Kiferbaum’s business got the contract, Kiferbaum acknowledged.
Kiferbaum admitted he overcharged for the work, then kicked back millions of dollars to Levine.
Judge John F. Grady — who does not have to agree to the deal between Kiferbaum and prosecutors — is due to sentence Kiferbaum on July 17.
Kiferbaum’s business was previously required to pay back $7 million in profits as part of the deal.