On December 18th, 2014, Elizabeth Perino was charged for federal indictment with mail and wire fraud for her part in defrauding the City of Chicago MWBE program. The indictment, which followed a joint investigation by OIG and FBI, alleges that Perino, through her company, Perdel Contracting Company, acted as a pass-through on a multi-million dollar runway repair project at O’Hare Airport and provided fraudulent WBE invoices to support previously unmet DBE goals in a compliance audit of another O’Hare public works project. More specifically, the indictment alleges that Perino schemed with the Contractor and caused documents to be prepared and submitted to defraud the City by falsely claiming to have provided equipment and labor when Perdel did not perform, manage, or supervise any work on either project.
Perino was originally charged by complaint in July 2011 as an offshoot of an OIG/FBI investigation of MWBE program fraud by Anthony Cappello. Cappello pleaded guilty in July 2012 to participating in a scheme to fraudulently obtain City of Chicago contracts valued at more than $2.3 million. As part of his sentence, that included a two year term of probation, Cappello paid $169,676 as restitution to the City, representing his profit from those contracts, and a $25,000 fine.
Read the full memo here.