City Contractor Sentenced To Probation For Fraud

CHICAGO (STMW) — A major contractor for the city of Chicago was sentenced to two years probation Tuesday after he admitted he failed to give minority subcontractors their share of business on two projects.

Robert C. Blum, owner of Castle Construction Corp., was originally charged with 10 counts of fraudulently obtaining public money reserved for disadvantaged businesses and one count each of mail fraud and wire fraud.

On Tuesday Blum, of New Lenox, pleaded guilty to two counts of minority business fraud.

Blum was also ordered to pay a $20,000 fine. Cook County Judge Kevin Sheehan also ordered Castle to pay an additional $20,000 by September.

Blum was a close friend of Christopher Kelly, who was a top adviser and campaign fund-raiser to former Gov. Rod Blagojevich before Kelly committed suicide in 2009.

Blum did not speak in court.

Blum had been awarded a $10 million contract by Mayor Daley’s Public Building Commission to build an Edgewater fire station, promising to subcontract the masonry work to a minority-owned company, assistant attorney general Mary Bucaro said.

But he fired the subcontractor and instead gave the work to a white-owned business, Bucaro said.

Castle also shortchanged a minority subcontractor on a $9.8 million project to upgrade three CTA washing facilities for trains and buses in 2006, Bucaro said. Castle told the CTA that it had given a $2.96 million subcontract to Mid-City HVAC, a minority-owned company, but the contract was only for $550,000, the indictment states.

Later in 2007, Castle got the $10 million contract from the Public Building Commission to build a fire station at 6030 N. Clark. Castle said it would subcontract 23 percent of the work to minority-owned companies, including $1.5 million to George Anthony Garth Masonry, a minority-owned business. Instead, Blum hired a white-owned masonry company, LSC Construction, which it then fired after most of the work was done.

Castle submitted records to the commission indicating Garth’s company did the masonry work, Bucaro said.

Blum was also charged in a federal criminal information last year with under-reporting his income by nearly $2.5 million over four years.

Castle and Blum have been permanently barred from getting contracts with the City of Chicago.

–Chicago Sun-Times, via the Sun-Times Media Wire

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2011. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  • nellis

    Bring on some federal charges. Send him to jail.

  • NWA

    Illinois State government sucks! This guy won’t go to jail because he’s paying someone or building something for someone. He stole, lied and stole some more, and on jail time. Not only did he steal, he stole from the disadvantaged. He’s a snake! The contractors who may have known what was going on are just as bad as this guy. Do any of them know what the term “disadvantaged” mean? It means you’re taking from the needy.


  • Knowledge

    Yep!!! I know of some Building inspectors that were charged with a felony and are awaiting going to jail (supposedly because there is no room). AND still collecting their paychecks. Check it out!!!!

  • KE

    Whoa — are you all missing one important part of the story — they keep saying “WHITE OWNED” what does that actually mean?? Who are these minorities that they speak of Black and Hispanic only–
    businesses owned by WHITE WOMEN are still considered minority businesses. And these “White People” Jew or Non-Jew (2 completely separate groups)
    What about the Irish, Polish and Russian Immigrants etc — do they make up part of this “WHITE OWNED GROUP””
    Who again distinguishes MINORITY group for contracts??

    Honestly who is a minority business in the landscaping industry in Chicagoland — I know that the MAJORITY are Hispanic and I for 1 have NEVER seen a “white” landscaper — so do the white people then get the business because they are a MINORITY in their particular business/trade
    The contract should go to the one that can do the job BEST and at a fair price –NOT the color or their skin, their religion, etc.

    • NWA

      Never, are you kidding me? I have a white landscaper. Billy bob’s landscaping west of Cicero.


  • Burl

    Oh Dear, Oh My, blacks being abused again by the evil White Devil, will this madness Ever Stop. You know they were the smartest and most inventive people on the planet at one time, King and Queens they say?

  • Because Chicago Is There

    Just another reason never to travel east of Harlem Ave.

  • Marty

    Sometimes I wonder how can a man look at himself in the mirror when after all these years he can not compete without Special Hep?
    Affirmative Action to me is just saying I am a loser, hep me I can’t make it on my own? How would you like one of these losers doing surgery on you?

    • NWA

      I see, you’re the type of person who should remove your shoes and socks before you open your mouth. Affirmative Action (AA) does not help African-American men anymore. AA helps women more than it ever has helped an African-American male. And, AA helps white women more than any one group of people. Look it up!


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