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Ex-State Contractor Gets Probation For Defrauding Taxpayers

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CHICAGO (CBS) — A contractor with ties to deposed Gov. Rod Blagojevich was sentenced to probation Monday, after admitting to using a state drug-screening contract to bilk taxpayers out of thousands of dollars.

Anita Mahajan, 60, pleaded guilty to one count of felony theft before Cook County Judge James Obbish. The guilty plea only related to $99,000 — a fraction of the $2.1 million prosecutors had said she swiped from the state.

“I’m sorry,” Mahajan said wiping away tears.

The petite Mahajan, who wore a purple sweater and black slacks in court, has also agreed to pay $200,000 — $125,000 in restitution, $43,000 in fines and $32,000 to the state’s attorney’s office. The grandmother also must perform 1,500 hours of community service as part of her plea agreement.

Mahajan, who has family in India, will be allowed to travel overseas while she remains on probation.

Mahajan’s husband, banker Amrish Mahajan, had contributed $10,000 to the convicted former governor’s campaign fund. The Mahajans were also involved in property deals in which Blagojevich’s wife, Patti, got a total of $113,000 in real estate commissions.

When she was arrested four years ago, Mahajan was charged with six felony counts stemming from the theft, which authorities occurred through false billings and overbillings by her urinalysis firm, K.K. Bio-Science Inc.

She faced six to 30 years in prison.

K.K. Bio-Science had a long-standing contract to conduct drug testing on children and parents being monitored by the state’s child-welfare system. The contract was yanked in early 2007 as a probe into the firm’s billing practices took root. The company is no longer in business.

There was no indication the charges stemming from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services contract in any way involved Patti Blagojevich or $113,000 in real estate commissions she derived in 2006 from deals involving Mahajan and her husband.

K.K. Bio-Science landed the DCFS deal long before Rod Blagojevich took office.

Mahajan’s attorney, Steve Miller, said Monday the attorney general’s office has also reached an agreement in its civil lawsuit filed against Mahajan in conjunction to her guilty plea.

Rod Blagojevich is awaiting sentencing, after being convicted on 17 of the 20 counts against him in a retrial this summer. He is to be sentenced Oct. 6 by U.S. District Judge James B. Zagel.

The Chicago Sun-Times contributed to this report, via the Sun-Times Media Wire.

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