Alleged Mobster Arrested in McCormick Center Bid-Rigging Scheme

Fratto was sentenced to a year for tax evasion in 2009

By Andrew Greiner and Phil Rogers
|  Friday, Mar 12, 2010  |  Updated 8:53 PM CDT
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Reputed mobster Rudy

Reputed mobster Rudy "The Chin" Fratto greets reporters after making a court appearance on charges he helped with a bid-rigging scheme involving contracts at McCormick Place.

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This makes sense.

In the midst of a Chicago trade show exodus, the U.S. attorney's office says a reputed mobster is accused of taking part in a bid-rigging scheme involving contracts at McCormick Place, Chicago's lakefront exposition hall.

Prosecutors say Rudy "The Chin" Fratto, of Darien, is a member of the Chicago mob who wanted a piece of the lucrative forklift action at McCormick Place.

Fratto and a co-defendant, William DeGironemo, are accused of squeezing a Las Vegas convention firm, which already was having its own problems with the outfit in Cleveland.

The government says Fratto told that company -- Greyhound Exposition -- that if he was given inside information on the competing bids of other forklift companies for two lucrative McCormick Place conventions -- the International Machine Tool Show and the International Plastics Showcase -- he could help them with their "Cleveland problem."

They got that information, and the deal, prosecutors say, even though they had very little experience in the forklift business.

But the FBI suggest Fratto knows his way around big deals.

The FBI says Fratto was present at a meeting with former Rosemont Mayor Donald Stephens and mob notables such as Joey "The Clown" Lombardo and John "No Nose" DiFronzo, to discuss what role the outfit would play in the construction and operation of Rosemont's now-defunct Emerald Casino.

Because of those mob connections, Emerald was never finished and its license was revoked.

In January, U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly sentenced Fratto to a year and a day in federal prison for evading more than $140,000 in income taxes. He was due to report to prison April 28.

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