McCann Trial Expected to Start This Fall

By Benjamin Cox on April 17, 2023 at 6:25am

The trial of a former local State Senator appears to be happening this Fall.

Former 50th District State Senator and one time third party candidate for governor, William “Sam” McCann, received one final continuance in federal court on Friday in an effort to prepare to go to trial in September.

McCann was indicted in February 2021 by the U.S. Attorney’s Office on charges of fraud, money laundering, and tax evasion related to his alleged misuse of campaign money for personal expenses. The indictment alleges that from May 2015 to June 2020, McCann engaged in a scheme to convert more than $200,000 in campaign contributions to his bid for governor and donations made to his campaign committees to pay himself and make personal purchases, and that he concealed his fraud from donors, the public, the Illinois State Board of Elections, and law enforcement authorities through the alleged filing of false tax returns.

McCann has changed counsel through the duration of pretrial hearings and has fought through delays brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic and what has been “voluminous” amounts of material that federal investigators and prosecutors have collected in the case. Potential resolutions and a possible plea bargain was hinted at last year.

However, according to online federal court records from Friday, McCann’s counsel says they are intent to head to trial.

The wire fraud and money laundering charges carry potential maximum 20-year prison terms, and the tax evasion charge carries a maximum five-year prison term. McCann also faces a possible million dollar fine.

McCann is set to appear in person for a final pretrial conference on August 8th at the Springfield federal courthouse. Jury selection and a trial have been set for September 5th.