Chicago - Nov. 23, 2020
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The [Wednesday] Papers

"The Chicago-based maker of Jim Beam has agreed to pay about $19.6 million to settle federal criminal charges alleging it paid bribes to Indian government officials to do business in the country and falsified the company's books and records," the Tribune reports.

"Beam Suntory, a distiller and beverage company headquartered in Merchandise Mart, admitted to wrongdoing as part of a deferred-prosecution agreement with federal prosecutors unsealed Tuesday in the Northern District of Illinois.

"The company had been charged with conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits the payment of bribes to foreign officials and requires companies to maintain adequate internal controls and accurate books and records."

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"Company spokeswoman Emily York declined to say whether the five executives and employees referred to in court documents were terminated. The deferred prosecution agreement refers to the involvement of two executives in Beam's Asia Pacific/South America unit, one executive and one high-ranking employee in Beam's legal department and an executive of Beam India, but does not name them."

Emily York is a former Tribune reporter. From her LinkedIn page:

"Covered day-to-day news of Chicago-area food, restaurant, alcohol, grocery and candy companies, including McDonald's, Beam Suntory, Kraft Foods, Sara Lee and Wrigley."

They must have been happy with their coverage!

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But York made one stop between covering Beam and repping them. She went from covering Wrigley to overseeing "Wrigley's Media Bureau" for an ad agency, and from covering McDonald's to "Develop[ing] and execut[ing] media plan for the global re-launch of Ronald McDonald in 2014, ensuring the program stayed on track and stories included key messages."

Emily York, you are Today's Worst Person In Chicago, even though you appear to live in Evanston, close to your journalism grad school alma mater Northwestern, which only makes it worse.

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Back to the Trib:

"The company's record-keeping practices, which falsely recorded bribes as commission expenses, violated the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and helped conceal the practice, prosecutors alleged. In July 2018, Beam agreed to pay the Securities and Exchange Commission $8 million in penalties for the violation.

"Payments were disguised as legitimate business expenses and recorded as 'Customer Support,' 'Off-Trade Promotions,' and 'Commission to Distributor Promoter,' in the company's books, prosecutors alleged. Beam overpaid one of its Indian sales promoters more than $550,000, and overpaid a third party sales promoter for the India military's canteen stores department more than $1.5 million, prosecutors alleged. The promoters then used the funds to pay bribes to government officials, according to the deferred prosecution agreement."

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Cracking The Revolving Door
"Signaling a potential crack in Democratic support for Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx, Republican challenger Pat O'Brien on Tuesday picked up the support of Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd)," the Sun-Times reports.

"The downtown alderman voiced his concerns about Foxx's response to looting in his ward this summer, but he's now officially backing O'Brien. Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd), who also became disenchanted with Foxx, said he's sitting the race out."

I don't know that Reilly's move "signals" a "potential crack" at all. A "crack" takes more than two downtown aldermen withholding support from an elected official who has scared their whitey constituents and royally pissed off their financial patrons - namely downtown business owners who want every last poor shoplifter locked up forever to protect the sanctity of their pristine businesses serving the wealthiest of the wealthy. How dare they, sayeth the likes of Beam executives!

It's also hardly a surprise to anyone who follows Reilly's Twitter account; he's been harping on Foxx's "failure" to prosecute low-level punks and judges "failing" to keep them locked up for a good part of the last year, at least. Alas, he has only given O'Brien $1,000 so far, near as I can tell, so he's clearly trying to thread a political needle.

From the Chicago Reporter last year:

"Reilly has raised more money than any other aldermanic candidate aside from powerbroker Ed Burke, despite the fact that he is running unopposed (or perhaps his sizeable war chest warded off any potential challengers). He's raised more than $3 million since the 2015 election, more than all but the two top mayoral contenders - Bill Daley and Toni Preckwinkle. More than $260,000 of that has come since the filing deadline, when it became clear he would not face a challenger.

"Top donors to Reilly's campaign fund and the 42nd Ward Democratic Committee he controls (aside from himself) include Richard Melman, who has donated more than $111,000; Alliance of Illinois Taxpayers, a PAC that counts as donors several local law firms and Ed Burke, which has given $42,500; and the National Association of Realtors, which has given $38,000."

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Hopkins is taking a pass, LOL. He's apparently really torn between the two options - how can one possibly decide between Kim Foxx and Patrick O'Brien?! (And I'm no huge fan of Foxx; as I've written more than once, I think she's probably one step above her head on the organizational chart. But her policies are in the right place - it's competence that is in question. Electing - even supporting - O'Brien is a rebuke to the very (righteous) cause of the downtown mayhem Reilly these aldermen so abhor.)

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"Reilly described himself [in a text to consituents] as 'a proud member of the Democratic Party and a Biden delegate.'"

Well, he's got Biden's criminal justice policies - if it was 1994.

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"The city's neighborhoods are 'suffering from the office's failures to aggressively prosecute gun crimes and repeat offenders,' Reilly said, a problem that has gotten so bad the police have come to call the county's criminal justice system a 'revolving door.'"

It's gotten so bad cops have finally, after all these years, declared the criminal justice system a revolving door. Wow, they've never gone that far before! Things must really be bad!

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Meanwhile, Beam executives walk through a door that revolves faster than any other America has built.

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Headline Of The Day
Those Attending Large Thanksgiving Celebration Could Reconvene For Christmastime Funeral, State Health Director Warns.

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New on the Beachwood today . . .

Wisconsin's Winter Wonders
Holiday lights from your car, brought to you by Laser Bob Mullins!

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ChicagoReddit

Rowhouses built for workers in the former factory town and current Chicago neighborhood of Pullman, on the far south side from r/chicago

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

gema trio mexico de chicago en zubarrio tv

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BeachBook

Why Does The Supreme Court Have Nine Justices?

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TweetWood
A sampling of the delight and disgust you can find @BeachwoodReport.

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The Beachwood Confectionary Line: Confections.



Permalink

Posted on October 28, 2020


MUSIC - The Ventures: Stars On Guitars.
TV - Newsmax On Fox News's Betrayal.
POLITICS - How Illinois Dems Made Rutherford B. Hayes President.
SPORTS - Georgia's Perdue Lobbied For Sports Teams Tax Breaks.

BOOKS - Binding Books In Human Skin.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Old Man With A Gold Chain.


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