McCann Pleads Guilty, Judge to Determine Confinement Prior to Sentencing

By Benjamin Cox on February 15, 2024 at 5:53pm

Former State Senator William “Sam” McCann is pleading guilty to federal charges of wire fraud, money laundering, and tax evasion.

Capitol News Illinois reports that McCann abruptly made the change in plea as federal prosecutors were wrapping up their case in chief this afternoon.

Federal prosecutors had spent this morning playing more than 3 hours of recordings made by federal agents who interviewed McCann on 3 separate occasions in 2018.

An FBI agent also testified that more than a year later, McCann continued to pay himself with campaign funds despite no longer running for office.

According to Illinois Times reporter Dean Olsen, McCann’s court-appointed counsel, Jason Vincent, said the decision by his client to end the bench trial came as McCann contemplated taking the stand in his own defense on the expected final day of the trial tomorrow. McCann is said to have refused comment when questioned by reporters as he left the courtroom in Springfield today.

McCann returns to the Macon County Jail in Decatur, where he has been held since Judge Colleen Lawless revoked his pretrial release on February 9th for not properly communicating his whereabouts to Federal Probation officers after his release from Missouri Baptist Hospital in St. Louis for an undisclosed ailment he was hospitalized for last week.

McCann is returning to the courtroom tomorrow where Judge Lawless is expected to rule on whether McCann will stay detained prior to his sentencing.

Judge Lawless has set McCann’s sentencing for June 24th. He could face a prison term of 20 years or more in federal prison.