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Friday, August 5, 2022

Former Vice Chancellor of City Colleges of Chicago Sentenced to More than Five Years in Federal Prison for Procurement Fraud

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(MGN)

Chicago, IL-(ENEWSPF)- A former vice chancellor for City Colleges of Chicago has been sentenced to five and a half years in federal prison for devising and engaging in a procurement fraud scheme.

SHAROD GORDON was employed by City Colleges of Chicago in various leadership roles, most recently as the Vice Chancellor of Legislative and Community Affairs.  From 2013 to 2017, Gordon obtained kickbacks from vendor companies in exchange for steering them City Colleges contracts for community canvassing and flyer distribution services.  Some of the companies were formed by Gordon’s City Colleges colleagues and other friends for the sole purpose of applying for the contracts.  In some instances, the work was never performed – even though the companies submitted invoices that caused City Colleges to pay out nearly $350,000.  Upon receipt of the payments, Gordon directed representatives of the companies to give him a portion of the money.

Gordon, 47, of Oak Park, Ill., pleaded guilty last year to a federal wire fraud charge.  U.S. District Judge Robert M. Dow, Jr., on Wednesday, imposed a 66-month prison sentence.

The sentence was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI.  The Office of Inspector General for the City Colleges of Chicago provided substantial assistance in the investigation. 

“Sharod Gordon abused the public trust for personal profit,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Megan DeMarco argued in the government’s sentencing memorandum.  “Defendant used his government position to deprive underserved college students of honest services in order to line his own pocket.”

Seven other defendants were charged with participating in the fraud scheme. These were:

  • ANGELIQUE ORR, 47, of Berwyn, is charged with five counts of wire fraud.  Orr was married to Gordon from 1998 to 2013, the indictment states.
  • KRYSTAL STOKES, 39, of North Bay Village, Fla., is charged with two counts of wire fraud and one count of making a false statement to the FBI.  Stokes previously worked at City Colleges as a community outreach worker.
  • MARVA SMITH, 37, of Chicago, is charged with two counts of wire fraud.  Smith worked at City Colleges as a liaison to governmental agencies.
  • TIFFANY MCQUEEN, 43, of Naperville, is charged with two counts of wire fraud and one count of making a false statement to the FBI.  McQueen was an alleged associate of Gordon.
  • NANCY VAZQUEZ, 48, of Chicago, is charged with two counts of wire fraud.  Vazquez was a lobbyist who operated a lobbying and consulting firm.
  • MARQUITA PAYNE, 38, of Frisco, Texas, is charged with two counts of wire fraud.  Payne was an alleged associate of Gordon and the registered agent of a consulting company.
  • TIFFANY CAPEL, 35, of Detroit, Mich., is charged with one count of wire fraud.  Capel was an alleged associate of Gordon who operated a marketing, branding, and apparel design company.

The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt.  The defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  Each count of wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, while the maximum sentence for each false statement count is five years.  If convicted, the Court must impose reasonable sentences under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.

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