The Chicago Syndicate: FBI Investigation Has Secret CW Tapes to Counter Mob Muscle

Monday, November 20, 2006

FBI Investigation Has Secret CW Tapes to Counter Mob Muscle

To a criminal investigation that already involves strong-arm tactics, the mob and a multimillion-dollar loss, add yet another twist. A secret recording device.

Suburban businessman John LaFlamboy, who contends Bridgeview village officials forced him to sell his golf dome to them, secretly recorded Bridgeview Mayor Steve Landek and onetime mayoral consultant Steve Reynolds as part of an FBI investigation into the deal, the Sun-Times has learned.

While the FBI investigation into the matter was well-known, the fact that the alleged victim made secret recordings of two of the key players in the alleged scam has never been publicly revealed.

The village officials were interested in using the site of the indoor golf driving range to persuade the Chicago Fire soccer team to relocate to Bridgeview.

LaFlamboy sued Landek, Reynolds and others last year in federal court in Chicago, alleging $6 million in damage and contending he was threatened and harassed into selling his share of the World Golf Dome. Among those people allegedly making threats to LaFlamboy was former Chicago Police Officer Fred Pascente, who was banned from Nevada casinos in 1999 and placed in their infamous Black Book for alleged connections to the mob. Pascente is an associate of Reynolds, according to the lawsuit. Pascente has denied any wrongdoing.

The secret recording device came to light late last week in a disclosure that LaFlamboy's attorneys made to the defendants in the lawsuit.

Under the federal court rules, LaFlamboy's attorneys had to disclose in a letter to the defendants any witnesses who could have knowledge of the allegations contained in the lawsuit. Among those people listed is an FBI agent who has the secret tape-recordings LaFlamboy made of both Landek and Reynolds, the document shows. It could not be determined what is on the tapes. But LaFlamboy had extensive dealings with both Landek and Reynolds. LaFlamboy's prominent attorneys, Michael Ettinger and Dennis Berkson, declined to comment on the disclosure document.

Landek did not return phone messages for comment, while Reynolds could not be reached for reaction to being recorded.

Late last year, the U.S. attorney's office in Chicago issued subpoenas to village trustees and officials.

Thanks to Steve Warmbir

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