Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson used the same accounting firm that licensed Bridgeport bank before it went bankrupt
An accounting firm that gave a Bridgeport bank a certificate of good health six months before it was shut down by federal regulators also prepared tax returns for Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson (11th), who is accused of illegally claiming interest that he never paid to the bank.
Bansley & Kiener accounting firm managing partner Robert Hannigan is one of the key witnesses federal prosecutors have said will testify in their case against Thompson, grandson and nephew of Chicago’s two oldest mayors, who must stand trial. October 18.
Bansley & Kiener has decades-long ties to the Daley family, dating back to the late Mayor Richard J. Daley. The company prepared annual financial reports for the Chicago Tax Rise Funding Districts under the direction of Mayor Richard M. Daley. The company has done accounting work for the Daleys and Thompson’s campaign funds, according to campaign fundraising reports it filed with the Illinois State Board of Elections this summer.
Now, federal prosecutors have revealed in filings on Wednesday that the company had prepared the tax returns that Thompson and his wife, Kathleen, filed for several years, deducting about $ 15,000 of mortgage interest they did not have. never paid on the loans the Alderman received from the Washington Federal Bank for Savings, another client of the accounting firm.
The bank gave Thompson unsecured loans, not mortgages, so he should never have deducted the interest payments, even if he did pay them, prosecutors said.
Lawyers for the alderman argue the bank sent Thompson annual statements incorrectly stating he paid interest on the loans, and that Thompson forwarded them to Bansley, who prepared his tax returns which sometimes contained over 60 pages.
Defense attorneys also wrote in their own brief on Wednesday that mistakes had been made by Bansley and even by Thompson himself, writing that “Mr. Thompson’s lack of organization and his lack of attention to detail his personal financial affairs are at the heart of his defense.
Hannigan did not answer phone calls from the Chicago Sun-Times.
Federal regulators discovered the vast fraud scheme at the end of 2017, finding out that the family bank led by President John F. Gembara had made numerous loans without collateral, valuation or pending repayment.
Gembara was found dead on December 3, 2017, inside the Park Ridge home of Marek Matczuk, an entrepreneur who has since been accused of embezzling $ 6 million from the bank. Twelve days later, regulators shut down the bank amid the massive fraud scheme that reached $ 90 million.
Bansley & Kiener agreed to pay a $ 2.5 million settlement to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the federal insurance program that was supposed to cover most of the bank’s losses.
Federal officials have subpoenaed Bansley & Kiener’s bank records, but the accounting firm refused to comply until a federal judge orders the firm to turn over the records in 2018.
As the company battled the subpoena, prosecutors said Hannigan and Thompson had had numerous discussions about how he could change his tax returns and repay money he shouldn’t have owed. deduct from his income tax returns.
Thompson emailed Hannigan on April 11, 2019, stating: “I would like to change the taxes every year that was in error with the mortgage interest for the bank’s unsecured loan” and that he “would prefer [err on] the conservative side and paying more than underpaying.
Thompson also spent years trying to get Gembara to refinance Chase’s loans through the Washington Federal, prosecutors said. After Thompson obtained a $ 110,000 unsecured loan from Washington Federal in November 2011, Thompson wrote to Gembara 10 months later: “I know I owe interest. . . We talked about not paying because it was going to be wrapped up in refinancing, ”the records show.
In another email in February 2013, Thompson wrote that he wanted to “turn” the $ 110,000 loan into a new loan and added, “I know we’ll also have to add any unpaid interest, which is from about $ 4,000. ”
Meanwhile, the IRS sent a notice to Thompson and his wife in January 2013 that he was claiming $ 13,614. Thompson wrote to Gembara on February 22, 2013, “I have a tax liability that I need to make payment on. Thompson ended up writing a check for $ 13,772 to the IRS on March 20, 2013 – but it was not until two days later that the Washington Federal handed Thompson a check for $ 20,000 which gave him the money he needed to cover the payment to the IRS, prosecutors said. .
In April 2013, the closure of Thompson’s refinancing through Washington Federal failed after it was determined that a lien on a loan of $ 88,500 from North Community Bank to Thompson was in effect. Thompson ended up asking the Washington Federal to add it to its refinance and wrote to Gembara in July 2013, “I’m ready to close. How long will it take for you to close? “
Almost six months later, with no closure taking place, Thompson wrote to Gembara in January 2014 to complain that the North Community Bank “was pursuing legal action against me.”
” It is unacceptable ! Thompson wrote to Gembara. “I have asked you on several occasions to postpone the closure to make me say over and over again that you would. Now I’m in a very difficult position because I believed you when you said we were going to get there.
Thompson told Gembara to “please let me know if you are seriously considering taking out the loan,” and he gave Gembara more details on his dispute with North Community.