Cook County property tax assessors charged in bribery scheme along with business owner

The owner of a Chicago-area fence installation company, along with two Cook County employees, have been charged in a bribery scheme.

Robert Mitziga, owner of Fence Masters, Inc., allegedly conspired with employees of the Cook County Assessor’s Office (CCAO) to lower the assessed value of his properties to lower his taxes.

According to the indictment, from February to November 2017, Mitziga, 65, allegedly conspired with an executive of another company and Basilio Clausen, 51, of Crown Point, Indiana, who was employed by the CCAO as a residential field inspector to reduce his property assessments. 

He conspired with Lumni Likovski, 47, of Burbank, who was employed by the CCAO as a director of taxpayer services and Lavdim Memisovski, who was employed by the CCAO as a commercial group leader, as well.

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Mitziga has also been charged with bribing Clausen, Likovski, and Memisovski. Likovski has been charged with accepting a bribe as a public official. 

Memisovski was charged for conspiring to accept bribes on July 6, 2022. He pled guilty to having engaged in a bribery scheme with the owner of a Chicago area construction company from 2016 to 2019.

Fence Masters and the other company involved had properties in Cook County that were being re-assessed by CCAO. The two companies appealed the re-assessed values of their properties to the CCAO.  

As agents of the CCAO, Clausen, Likovski, and Memisovski accepted bribes from Mitziga and the other executive in the form of golf outings, food and drinks. 

In exchange, Clausen and Likovski circumvented the regular system of random assignment of appeals to route the appeals to Memisovski, who reduced the assessed values on the properties, according to the indictment. 

The charges carry a possible sentence range of five to 10 years in federal prison.