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Statement by Penn Credit and Don Donagher Denying All Charges in Federal Indictment

March 17, 2019

CHICAGO, March 17, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The following are statements and opinions by Cotsirilos, Tighe, Streicker, Poulos & Campbell, Ltd regarding the allegations against Don Donagher and Penn Credit:

The allegations against Don Donagher and Penn Credit are false and the Department of Justice should not have brought this case. Mr. Donagher and Penn Credit acted legally and in good faith, and we will prove that in court.

The indictment presents a novel and meritless theory based on conduct that allegedly occurred long ago. First, the government has charged Mr. Donagher with bribery related offenses, but it has not charged any public official or even claim that a public official was a supposed co-conspirator. Second, unlike the long line of corruption cases that have been prosecuted in Chicago, this case has none of the standard hallmarks of bribery and corruption. There are no allegations of secret cash payments. There are no allegations of concealed payments to shell companies. There are no allegations of lavish gifts or free vacations. In fact, there are no allegations that Mr. Donagher did anything to personally enrich any public official. Simply put, none of the usual indicia of corrupt activity are present in this case. Instead, the Department of Justice is attempting to criminalize entirely lawful, publicly-disclosed campaign contributions and laudatory donations to various charities, a scholarship fund and the partial sponsoring of a Women’s History Month event.

Moreover, Penn Credit never sought and never received any improper benefit from any public official. Indeed, the contracts Penn Credit received from Cook County and other government entities were awarded to it purely on the merits.

For example, regarding the Cook County contract, a county-wide committee, which included members of the State’s Attorney’s Office, objectively rated the proposals submitted by Penn Credit and its competitors, and that county-wide committee rated Penn Credit to be the most qualified company for the contract. And that superior rating was borne out by Penn Credit’s documented performance on behalf of Cook County — Penn Credit significantly increased collections and revenue for the county and dramatically outperformed its competitors by every objective measure. Thus, Penn Credit consistently received “excellent” marks for its debt collection work, not just for the Clerk’s Office, but for its superior services to all County Departments under the contract.

Mr. Donagher has a well-earned reputation for philanthropy and generosity, having donated millions of dollars to a wide variety of charitable causes around the country. The company has an unblemished record as a corporate citizen and leading employer in its community.

Theodore T. Poulos, counsel to Don Donagher and Penn Credit, said, “Donating to political campaigns and charities hoping to engender good will is not a crime. That happens every day in this country.”

Mr. Donagher and Penn Credit will enter pleas of not guilty and will vigorously defend themselves against these unsupported charges. We look forward to our day in court.

For further information, please contact Theodore T. Poulos at (312) 263-0345 or tpoulos@cotsiriloslaw.com.