UNITED STATES NEWS

Hospitalization delays start of ex-Illinois state senator’s federal fraud trail

Feb 5, 2024, 2:50 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The federal wire fraud and money laundering trial against William “Sam” McCann was delayed Monday after court officials learned that the former Illinois state senator was hospitalized over the weekend.

McCann, 54, who waged a third-party campaign for governor in 2018, faces seven counts of wire fraud and single counts of money laundering and tax evasion for allegedly converting hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions to personal use. He was scheduled to stand trial Monday morning in U.S. District Court.

McCann is representing himself but has a so-called stand-by attorney, Jason Vincent of Springfield. Vincent told U.S. District Judge Colleen Lawless that McCann’s wife, Vicki, reported driving Sam McCann to a hospital in suburban St. Louis, Missouri, on Saturday after he became ill and passed out.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Bass told Lawless at an afternoon hearing that he had subpoenaed the hospital for medical records, but later Monday said he had nothing new to report. McCann lives in Plainview, which is between Springfield and 52 miles (84 kilometers) northeast of St. Louis.

“We are all at this point speculating as to how he got where he is,” Lawless said. “What we do know is that he is in fact hospitalized. What we don’t know is the basis for it, the expected plan of care or the expected discharge date.”

Bass said witnesses he planned to call had already been flown to Springfield and needed to leave by Wednesday, but he conceded there was little else Lawless could do but set another status hearing for Tuesday morning. The judge noted she would entertain discussion of Bass’ request to revoke McCann’s personal recognizance bond.

No one answered the phone in McCann’s room at Missouri Baptist Medical Center. A message was left on his cellphone.

Since dismissing his attorneys in November and indicating his intention to defend himself, McCann has sought to postpone the trial to give him more time to prepare. In a Jan. 10 motion, he complained that there were 70,000 pages of evidence filed against him and he could not mount an adequate defense in the allotted time. Lawless denied the motion.

Bass noted that McCann has claimed health problems previously to seek delay. McCann asked for more time in late January to disclose the list of witnesses he expected to call because he “suffers from various medical ailments which have become particularly symptomatic over the past week.” He was ordered to supply medical proof. Subsequent unidentified documents were filed under seal.

Although Vicki McCann has not been charged with any crime, Bass told the court she was the treasurer of one or more of Sam McCann’s campaign committees and claimed that she benefitted from her husband’s fraud.

“The government doesn’t credit anything Mr. McCann says or anything Mrs. McCann says,” Bass said. “We want to know when he was admitted, when he’s expected to be discharged and his true medical condition.”

McCann owned two construction companies when he was elected to the state Senate in 2010. The Republican was re-elected twice and in 2018, waged a third-party campaign for governor, getting 4% of the vote and finishing behind winning Democrat J.B. Pritzker and then-incumbent GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner.

A February 2021 indictment laid out McCann’s alleged schemes to convert campaign contributions to personal use.

He allegedly used more than $60,000 in campaign funds to buy a 2017 Ford Expedition and a 2018 Ford F-250 pickup, then improperly reimbursed himself for mileage on the truck.

In one alleged setup that netted him $77,800 in campaign money, McCann purchased a recreational vehicle and trailer. He advertised them for rent through an Ohio-based company, then leased the vehicles from himself.

Officials maintain he used a payroll service to mask his receipt of $187,000 in money from his governor committee for work he didn’t do and took another $50,000 to pay personal credit card bills.

United States News

FILE - Bai Yun, the mother of newly named panda cub, Mei Sheng, gets a mouthful of bamboo during th...

Associated Press

China plans to send San Diego Zoo more pandas this year, reigniting its panda diplomacy

SAN DIEGO (AP) — China plans to send a new pair of giant pandas to the San Diego Zoo, renewing its longstanding gesture of friendship toward the United States after nearly all the iconic bears on loan to U.S. zoos were returned as relations began to sour between the two nations. San Diego Zoo officials […]

32 minutes ago

FILE - Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell speaks during a news conference at the Federal Res...

Associated Press

Federal Reserve minutes: Officials worried that progress on inflation could stall in coming months

Federal Reserve officials acknowledged at their most recent meeting in January that there had been “significant progress” in reducing U.S. inflation.

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Dozens of Idaho obstetricians have stopped practicing there since abortions were banned, study says

BOISE, Idaho. (AP) — More than 50 Idaho obstetricians have stopped practicing in the state since a near-total abortion ban took effect in August 2022, according to a newly released report. Data compiled by the Idaho Physician Well-Being Action Collaborative also shows that only two obstetricians moved to the state to practice in the last […]

3 hours ago

FILE - The logo for Boeing appears on a screen above a trading post on the floor of the New York St...

Associated Press

Boeing ousts head of 737 jetliner program, appoints new vice president of quality

Boeing says the head of its 737 jetliner program is leaving the company immediately, paving the way for the aircraft maker to appoint new leadership at the troubled division.

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Charges against alleged white supremacists are tossed by a California judge for the second time

LOS ANGELES (AP) — For the second time in five years, federal charges against alleged members of a violent white supremacist group accused of inciting violence at California political rallies were dismissed by a federal judge who found they were selectively prosecuted. Federal prosecutors said members of the Rise Above Movement conspired to riot by […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

A Los Angeles woman was arrested in Russia on charges of treason. Here’s what we know

Russia’s main domestic intelligence agency has arrested a woman with dual U.S. and Russian citizenship on charges of treason, accusing her of collecting money for the Ukrainian military. The Federal Security Service said in a statement early Tuesday that the Los Angeles resident was arrested in the Ural Mountains city of Yekaterinburg, about 1,100 miles […]

4 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

...

Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

...

FanDuel

The 2023 Diamondbacks are a good example to count on the underdog

The Arizona Diamondbacks made the World Series as a surprise. That they made the playoffs at all, got past the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Wild Card round, swept the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS and won two road games in Philadelphia to close out a full seven-game NLCS went against every expectation. Now, […]

Hospitalization delays start of ex-Illinois state senator’s federal fraud trail