Troutman to be sentenced next year

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Former Alderman Arenda Troutman, who initially claimed innocence, will be sentenced next year on mail and tax fraud charges.

Former Alderwoman Arenda Troutman, who initially claimed innocence, will be sentenced next year on mail and tax fraud charges.

Troutman, head of the 20th Ward for 17 years until she lost her re-election bid in 2007, was originally scheduled for sentencing Dec. 3. Her new date is Jan. 6, 2009, said Randall Samborn, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Indicted in 2007, the 51-year-old Troutman was caught on wiretaps during an FBI sting requesting money from real estate developers in exchange for letters of support for several land and property deals.

She vehemently denied all allegations when the federal corruption charges were levied against her. But in August, she did an aboutface and admitted in federal court, orally and in a 33-page plea agreement, to extortion and income tax evasion.

Troutman told developers they had to pay-to-play in order to do business in her South Side ward, federal prosecutors said.

Donations to her campaign were to be made before she would use her clout to secure zoning changes, land deals and alley access. Once the funds were given, she provided letters of support to the City Council, said Asst. U.S. Atty. Joseph Alesia.

Some contributions were made to the 20th Ward Women’s Auxiliary, a charitable organization. The auxiliary was used as a front to store thousands of dollars in donations and raked in a total of $21,500. The organization was never registered with the IRS, Alesia said.

Troutman was also caught on tape making disparaging marks about fellow aldermen.

“Most alderman, most politicians are hos,” she said, according to wiretap transcripts.

She faces up to 23 years in prison, but the judge could sentence Troutman to up to five years, Alesia said.

Copyright 2008 Chicago Defender. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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