Real estate developer charged as result of Ald. Ed Burke investigation

ByChuck Goudie and Ross Weidner, Barb Markoff and Christine Tressel WLS logo
Saturday, April 13, 2019
Real estate developer charged as result of Ald. Ed Burke investigation
The I-Team reports on Charles H. Cui, a Lake Forest real estate developer, the first additional person charged by federal prosecutors in connection to the Alderman Ed Burke investi

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The I-Team has learned there's a new defendant charged as a result of the Alderman Ed Burke investigation.

Charles Cui, an immigration lawyer and a real estate developer is charged in a four count indictment that includes bribery charges related to allegedly contacting Alderman Burke about a zoning matter and then retaining Burke's law firm for a property tax appeal. According to the indictment, Cui sought Burke's help in changing a zoning decision about reusing a sign pole at a TIF funded property he was redeveloping. In court documents, Cui is cited as estimating that not being able to use the sign as desired would have cost his company $750,000 in rent. Federal prosecutors say the redevelopment project is a $2,000,000 TIF project. Cui is also charged with making false statements to the FBI during the investigation.

RELATED: Ed Burke, longtime Chicago alderman, charged with attempted extortion

Cui's law firm bio states that Cui is "currently being appointed as a commissioner" for a Special Services neighborhood district 28 by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. That's the Six Corners district at Irving Park, Cicero and Milwaukee.

However, a spokesperson for the mayor's office told the I-Team Cui is no longer an SSA commissioner.

READ: Real estate developer Charles Cui indicted

"We believe that the allegations against him are baseless and it is our intention on taking the matter to trial and proving his innocence," Vadim Glozman, an attorney for Cui, told the I-Team.

RELATED: Feds request more time to indict legendary Chicago Alderman Ed Burke

This is the first additional person charged in relation to the Burke investigation. In January, Burke was charged with one count of attempted extortion. The alderman has maintained his innocence.

Despite the charge, Burke was re-elected as alderman of the 14th Ward last February, although he has stepped down from his position as chairman of the City Council's Finance Committee.

An attorney for Burke did not return the I-Team's request for comment.