JB Pritzker engaged in "scheme to defraud" Cook County: report - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

JB Pritzker engaged in "scheme to defraud" Cook County: report

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CHICAGO -- A scathing report from the Cook County Inspector General claims Democratic candidate for governor, JB Pritzker, was involved in a scheme to defraud the county when he removed toilets from a home he owned for a property tax break.

The new report revolves around Pritzker's now-infamous toilets, which have been the subject of a Bruce Rauner campaign ad.

A Chicago Sun-Times report last year showed Pritzker bought a mansion, let it fall into disrepair, removed toilets, and then claimed it was uninhabitable. That saved him nearly $230,000 in property taxes. 

The report from the inspector general, first obtained by the Sun-Times, found Pritzker's saving was actually more than $330,000. 

A section titled "Evidence of a plan to defraud Cook County" included a work order email that said MK Pritzker, JB's wife wanted the toilets removed.

The email said she was going to have the house reassessed as an uninhabitable structure, and that in order to do this, she wanted all of the toilets removed. 

That email was dated October 5, 2015. The toilets were removed the next day.

Two affidavits included in the property tax appeal said the property had been vacant and uninhabitable from January 2012 to present, adding that neither the kitchen nor the bathrooms functioned.

Those affidavits were signed October 15, 2015. 

In a statement, Rauner's campaign said. "This Inspector General report proves what we knew all along - JB Pritzker is a fraud... It's clear from Pritzker's repeated use of fraudulent tax dodging that he doesn't have the character and integrity to be governor."

Pritzker says the report was leaked for political purposes.

"We sought a reassessment like other people do," he said, "We went through the process that other people do... and there are clearly flaws in the system that people go through, but we sought it with all the rules in place. We knew what the rules were. We followed the rules."

Pritzker said he's in the process of paying the property taxes back to the county.

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