McCann Trial Heads Into Day 3

By Benjamin Cox on February 15, 2024 at 5:20am

Prosecutors say a former State Senator continued to fund a lavish lifestyle even as federal investigators probed his campaign funds.

54-year old Sam McCann’s wire fraud, money laundering, and tax evasion trial began in earnest today in Springfield after several delays. The AP reports that federal prosecutors said the former state senator and one-time gubernatorial candidate was questioned four times about personal spending from campaign accounts by FBI and IRS agents in the summer of 2018 while he was mounting a third-party campaign for governor. Prosecutors said in recorded interviews McCann acknowledged the misdeeds to investigators.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Bass said McCann churned through $340,000 of personal expenses from the campaign fund he established as the standard bearer for the newly formed Conservative Party of Illinois.

One of McCann’s assistants, Cynthia Miller testified today saying that friction developed between her and her boss when she started seeing irregular disbursements for what she thought were personal expenses and inappropriate mileage reporting.

Mark Poulos, executive director of Local 150 of the International Union of Operating Engineers, testified that the union gave McCann’s Conservative Party candidacy for governor more than $3 million in cash or in-kind contributions and when his bid for governor failed, the union never saw any money returned nor did they see any momentum capitalized on by his new party to recruit new candidates to run in places where the party would have been considered established.

On Day 2, Capitol News Illinois reports prosecutors delved into McCann’s scheme to rent out a motorhome and trailer to himself on an AirBnb-style website called RV Share. The feds say the politician illegally financed the vehicles using campaign funds.

McCann registered as an owner of the camper vehicles and then made a second account with his given name, William McCann, to rent them. The phone numbers on the two accounts were the same.

Prosecutors produced a conversation McCann had with himself on the RV Share platform where, from his renter account, McCann wrote – quote – “We can’t wait to get on the open road.”

The government is expected to rest its case by this morning.