WBEZ | Ambrosio Medrano http://www.wbez.org/tags/ambrosio-medrano Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Jurors convict ex-Chicago alderman in bribery case http://www.wbez.org/news/jurors-convict-ex-chicago-alderman-bribery-case-107735 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP539271569510_2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A jury has convicted a former Chicago alderman of a single count of conspiracy to commit bribery.</p><p>Ambrosio Medrano showed no emotion as the verdict was read Monday, sitting at a defense table with his hands folded on his lap.</p><p>He faced federal charges accusing him of paying bribes he was told would be given to a Los Angeles official in order to secure a lucrative contract.</p><p>Jurors deliberated for about four or five hours before returning with their decision. Two businessmen tried with him were also convicted.</p><p>Medrano&#39;s conviction carries a maximum five-year prison sentence.</p><p>The case isn&#39;t Medrano&#39;s first run-in with the law. He spent nearly two years in prison after pleading guilty in 1996 in a federal investigation into payoffs to aldermen and other Chicago-area politicians.</p></p> Mon, 17 Jun 2013 14:11:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/jurors-convict-ex-chicago-alderman-bribery-case-107735 FBI agent in Medrano case does terrible acting job http://www.wbez.org/news/fbi-agent-medrano-case-does-terrible-acting-job-107716 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Federal Court Building Chicago.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">An FBI agent who worked undercover in the investigation into former Chicago Alderman Ambrosio Medrano did a terrible job acting out the part of George Castro, a healthcare consultant from California. Medrano is accused of trying to bribe a public official in Los Angeles to get a contract with the L.A. County government, and FBI Agent &nbsp;Gabriel Casanova was acting as the guy who would hand off the money to the public official.</p><p>But in one secretly recorded meeting the undercover agent seems to know nothing about the healthcare industry. &nbsp;He speaks in generalities about private and public contracts and how the healthcare industry should expand in the next five to 10 years, though he provides no reasons for why he thinks it might expand. At one point Medrano&rsquo;s co-defendant Gus Buenrostro asks the undercover agent if there are a lot of ambulatory centers in Los Angeles.</p><p dir="ltr">Agent Casanova as Castro hums and haws a little bit. &ldquo;I&lsquo;m not sure if there are or not. There&rsquo;s a few. I wouldn&rsquo;t say a lot. &nbsp;I work with a few private and also with the county system so...I don&rsquo;t get to see a lot of the hard facilities most of the time,&rdquo; Cassanova said on the tape.</p><p dir="ltr">Prosecutors say the agent was playing dumb about the health industry to show that Medrano and his co-defendants weren&rsquo;t interested in doing business with him because of his expertise, but because of his willingness to pay a bribe to a public official.</p><p>Jurors are scheduled to start deliberations in the case Monday after a two week long trial.</p></p> Sun, 16 Jun 2013 18:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/fbi-agent-medrano-case-does-terrible-acting-job-107716 Closing for ex-alderman at bribery trial http://www.wbez.org/news/closing-ex-alderman-bribery-trial-107709 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP539271569510_1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The lawyer for a former Chicago alderman tells jurors his client can&#39;t be guilty of bribery because he never believed a fictitious public official in an FBI sting was real.</p><p>The argument came Friday during closing arguments at Ambrosio Medrano&#39;s federal bribery trial in Chicago.</p><p>Medrano and two businessmen are accused of paying bribes they were told would be given to a Los Angeles official to secure a business contract.</p><p>Defense lawyer John De Leon told jurors intent is key. He added, &quot;If you don&#39;t believe a person existed, you can&#39;t form the intent to bribe.&quot;</p><p>De Leon says he dubbed his client &quot;anxious Ambrosio&quot; because he was anxious to a fault to make money. But he insists Medrano thought the deal was legitimate.</p><p>Deliberations are expected to begin Monday.</p></p> Fri, 14 Jun 2013 13:32:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/closing-ex-alderman-bribery-trial-107709 Aldermanic bribery scheme pushed by government? http://www.wbez.org/news/aldermanic-bribery-scheme-pushed-government-107600 <p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-204dcf0f-20ed-7de3-2f56-4babcf3db675">Defense attorneys for a former Chicago alderman on trial for bribery say it was government investigators who were really pushing a bribery scheme, not former Ald. Ambrosio Medrano. They&rsquo;ll be pushing that angle in federal court again this morning as Medrano&rsquo;s trial enters a second week.</p><p>Medrano did a couple years in prison in the 1990s for taking $31,000 in bribes as an alderman, and now he&rsquo;s on trial for conspiring to pay a bribe to a public official in Los Angeles to win a contract.</p><p dir="ltr">Prosecutors have been playing secretly recorded phone calls for jurors but at times Medrano appears focused on pushing a quality product for a healthcare contract with L.A. County.</p><p dir="ltr">&quot;That basically is a prescription drug program that&rsquo;s being used by the county and they saved them I don&rsquo;t know how many millions of dollars,&rdquo; Medrano told the government&rsquo;s confidential informant.</p><p dir="ltr">By contrast, the informant often brings the conversation around to payoffs. &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve been thinking now, what can we do to entice this guy,&rdquo; the informant said in one recording.</p><p>Defense attorneys say the confidential informant desperately pushed the bribery scheme because he had his own legal troubles for failing to pay taxes and he was hoping to curry favor with prosecutors.</p></p> Fri, 07 Jun 2013 18:16:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/aldermanic-bribery-scheme-pushed-government-107600 Lawyer: Ex-alderman never intended to bribe anyone http://www.wbez.org/news/lawyer-ex-alderman-never-intended-bribe-anyone-107530 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP539271569510_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A former Chicago alderman&#39;s attorney has told jurors at a federal bribery trial in Chicago that his client never intended to bribe anyone.</p><p>Ambrosio Medrano and two businessmen are accused of paying bribe money to an undercover agent posing as a sale representative.</p><p>The agent allegedly told the men he&#39;d pass the money to a Los Angeles official who would supposedly take steps to ensure the men landed a lucrative pharmaceutical contract.</p><p>But it was all part of an FBI sting and the official didn&#39;t actually exist.</p><p>During his opening Tuesday, defense attorney Gal Pissetzky said Medrano never believed the official existed and never thought money paid to the agent was bribe money.</p><p>Medrano spent nearly two years in prison after pleading guilty in 1996 to a payoff scheme.</p></p> Tue, 04 Jun 2013 14:08:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/lawyer-ex-alderman-never-intended-bribe-anyone-107530 Corruption trial begins for ex-Chicago alderman http://www.wbez.org/news/corruption-trial-begins-ex-chicago-alderman-107491 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP539271569510.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Jury selection is set to begin in the corruption trial of a former Chicago alderman.</p><p>Ambrosio Medrano is facing felony bribery charges after authorities say he tried to accept kickbacks in schemes that included selling bandages to public hospitals.</p><p>Medrano spent nearly two years in prison after pleading guilty in 1996 in a government investigation into payoffs to aldermen and other Chicago-area politicians. He tried to run for re-election, but his bid was short-circuited when the Illinois Supreme Court said he was ineligible to serve because of the conviction.</p><p>A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney&#39;s Office said Monday that the trial is expected to last about a week.</p></p> Mon, 03 Jun 2013 10:19:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/corruption-trial-begins-ex-chicago-alderman-107491