Vrdolyak indicted on income tax evasion, impeding IRS

CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) - Onetime powerhouse Chicago alderman Edward R. Vrdolyak, who went to prison after pleading guilty to a high-profile financial scam in 2008, has been indicted on charges of impeding the IRS and income tax evasion.

Vrdolyak’s name had surfaced last year in the federal case against Daniel Soso, a Chicago attorney, who was accused of evading nearly $800,000 in income taxes, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

Vrdolyak wasn’t identified by name in the original Soso indictment but was revealed in court to be the unnamed “Individual A” in that indictment.

The newly unsealed indictment of Vrdolyak, handed down earlier this month, is a superseding one which also names Soso. The complicated 19-page document relates to Illinois’ lawsuit against tobacco companies two decades ago. It says an unnamed person agreed to pay Vrdolyak $65 million from the lawsuit in 1999, even though Vrdolyak “did no work.”

Vrdolyak faces a maximum of eight years in prison.

“We are very much saddened to see this. It’s a very old matter,” Vrdolyak’s attorney, Michael Monico, said Tuesday. The former alderman “is approaching 78 years of age and there is no loss at all. And it just surprises us that the government saw fit to bring this case.”

Monico said Vrdolyak will plead not guilty in a federal courtroom Nov. 22.

The former 10th ward alderman was widely known during his time on the Chicago City Council by the nickname “Fast Eddie” after developing a reputation for dancing on the edge of a law but remaining on the right side of it. He was known for saying he always assumed anyone he was talking with might be wearing a wire.

In 2009, a federal judge initially gave Vrdolyak a big break, giving him no prison time for his role in the Levine scheme. But prosecutors appealed, and Vrdolyak ended up resentenced to 10 months in prison and 10 months of home confinement and work release.