The Chicago Syndicate: Don't You Just Love Chicago Fairy Tales?
The Mission Impossible Backpack

Friday, March 16, 2007

Don't You Just Love Chicago Fairy Tales?

Don't you just love Chicago Fairy Tales?

They're almost like Russian Fairy Tales, but without the little house that walks on the legs of a chicken.

Instead, Chicago Fairy Tales sometimes involve condos at preconstruction prices, walking around on the pink, hairless feet of a rat.

My favorite Chicago Fairy Tales include:

The Chicago Outfit didn't intend to kill Mayor Anton Cermak. Sen. Barack O'Bama (D-Daley) couldn't see the Real Estate Fairy, the indicted Tony Rezko, coming when they bought property.

Another tale is how mayoral brain Tim Degnan and his developer buddy Tommy DiPiazza aren't trembling with fear about the feds investigating the Bridgeport Village developments. But here's an inspirational rags-to-riches bedtime story perfect for restless inmates in the federal pen: "How Mayor Richard J. Daley launched Uncle Amrish's political career at lunch."

You may have read about Uncle Amrish Mahajan in Wednesday's paper, in a savvy political-investigative article written by Tribune reporters John Chase and David Kidwell.

They tell the tale of Uncle Amrish--called so by the young daughter of Gov. Rod "The Unreformer" Blagojevich--who runs the Mutual Bank in Harvey. And how Mahajan bundled $500,000 in political donations from the Indian community for the current governor. And the connections between Uncle Amrish and his benefactor, insurance mogul and Viagra Triangle fixture Richard "Dickie" Parrillo (who can be found at Tavern on Rush, if you look hard for a short Italian guy in jeans and cowboy boots).

Patti Blagojevich, the governor's wife, has received $113,000 in real estate commissions through the Mahajans.

Amrish's wife, Anita, was recently charged with fraud for running a company that allegedly bilked the state out of millions of dollars in phony drug tests.

Mahajan's bank handled the mysterious Rezko-O'Bama real estate deal when Rezko was politically radioactive, a deal that O'Bama now calls "boneheaded" and "a mistake." But today's story is about how the Daleys helped Uncle Amrish make it big.

We contacted former Ald. Donald Parrillo (1st), estranged brother of Mahajan's benefactor Richard. The Parrillos were in the banking business together, when the feds brought charges against their bank for laundering drug money, though the Parrillos were never charged.

Donald Parrillo describes a friendless Mahajan newly arrived from India, a lonely little guy willing to work hard and prosper, like Horatio Alger in olden days.

As young Amrish walked in the Loop, an older man fell on the street. The old man happened to be Clem Shapiro, of the Illinois Department of Revenue. "Shapiro was up in years, it was a rainy day, and he slipped on the sidewalk," Donald Parrillo told us. "Amrish had only been in Chicago a short time, a matter of months. He helped Shapiro up, and Shapiro asked if Amrish would like to go to lunch with someone.

Donald said that as they walked, Shapiro turned to the young Horatio Alger Amrish and said: "`I want you to come up and meet somebody I'm having lunch with.' Well, that person was Mayor Daley, Richard J.

"Amrish ended up eating lunch with him. And the mayor said, `What are you going to do now that you're in Chicago?' And Amrish said, `I'd like to get into the banking business.'

"So Mayor Daley said to Amrish, `Go over and see Ald. Parrillo and tell him I would appreciate it if he could help you.'"

Donald Parrillo said that a few days later, he showed up at their National Republic Bank and there was Amrish, already hired by his brother Richard. "If you know my brother Richard, he would have loved to do anything for any politician," Donald said, though Richard J. Daley wasn't just any politician.

Richard Parrillo says Amrish was a Good Samaritan, but downplayed Richard J.'s role and says Shapiro was Amrish's clout.

Either way, the Daleys helped bring Uncle Amrish into the family, and now Blagojevich is getting the heat. Uncle Amrish is so scorching that his contributions to Mayor Richard M. Daley were returned, lest they singe the mayoral fingertips.

The mystery is that the Cook County state's attorney is running the Anita Mahajan investigation, who I'm told stands by her man, even if she'll have to sit in state prison for 10 or 15 years while he's having lunches at Gene & Georgetti.

You'd think local prosecutors would leave this stuff alone, rather than lock witnesses into statements that may hinder a federal case.

If I were an enterprising FBI agent, I'd check Uncle Amrish's relationships with the Daley administration, including the Department of Transportation, which employed engineers on those gigantic mega-projects run by mayoral loyalist, tough Tony Pucillo.

Do you think any of the Department of Tony engineers knew Amrish well? Hmmm.

It might be another Chicago Fairy Tale worth telling--to a federal grand jury.

Thanks to John Kass

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