Former Madison County Treasurer Fred Bathon is apparently continuing to cooperate in a conspiracy investigation connected to his recent guilty plea in a bid-rigging scheme. In February, Bathon admitted in the plea that he would structure delinquent property tax sales to eliminate competitive bidding and allowed the tax buyers to engage in price fixing. The buyers are said to be political donors.
A federal judge will therefore delay his sentencing until December 6. Sentencing had originally been set for May 17, and then pushed to August 30. A judge set the new date on Friday, with no objection from the government. At the time of his plea, U.S. Attorney Steven Wiggington said this crime expoited financially-distressed homeowners, and that the investigation is far from finished. Of particular note is that this charge is one of conspiracy, which by it's very nature involved more than one person. Under Illinois law, Bathon will forfeit his entire public pension as a result of the conviction. Bathon could receive up to 40 months in prison at the time of sentencing, but could also be reduced based on his cooperation with federal investigators.