CHICAGO – Federally charged Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson pleaded not guilty Thursday.
The 11th Ward alderman and grandson of former Mayor Richard J. Daley was arraigned on federal tax and bank fraud charges over the phone.
The charges stem from Daley Thompson’s alleged dealing with a former bank in Bridgeport.
Federal prosecutors believe he received a $219,000 loan from Washington Federal Bank For Savings between 2011 and 2014. They said he allegedly only made one payment on the loan and never paid interest.
The bank went belly-up in 2017 with $66 million in “non-performing loans.”
The FDIC assumed responsibility and attempted to get Daley Thompson to payback the money. That’s when federal authorities said he lied about what he owed and allegedly stated he only owed about $110,000. He then allegedly lied and said the loan was for home improvements, when the money really went to a law firm.
Authorities believe he filed false tax returns for five years.
He pleaded not guilty and his attorney Chris Gair said the charges amount to a “very small tax case.”
“He’s charged with making a mistake on his tax returns that cost the government a grand total of $15,000,” Gair said. “We want to get to trial and clear Mr. Thompson’s name as soon as possible.”
Daley Thompson claimed innocence in a statement after the charged were initially announced.
“I did not commit any crime, I am innocent,” he wrote. “I remain 100 percent dedicated to serving the people of Chicago to the best of my ability.”
The judge let Thompson free on a recognized bond, which means he just has to promise to attend his court appearances. He was forced to surrender his passport.