Chicago Tribune takes Democratic Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias to task for bank loans to mobsters

At a recent debate, Illinois Senate Candidate and Obama friend Alexi Giannoulias was asked about about using his family’s now defunct bank to make loans to mobsters. His answer was not acceptable, notes the Chicago Tribune:

Giannoulias was responding to a question from NBC’s David Gregory about his bank’s loans to organized crime figures back when he was a loan officer at the family business. As the Tribune reported in April, Broadway Bank had lent millions of dollars to Michael “Jaws” Giorango and his business partner Demitri Stavropoulos by the time Giannoulias arrived at the institution. During his time as a loan officer, the bank kept giving them loans — even when they were about to go to federal prison on felony convictions.

Confronted with these embarrassing facts, the candidate has squirmed to put the best face on them. “If I knew then what I know now, these are not the kind of people that we do business with,” he said Sunday. But when Gregory asked, “Did you know that they were crime figures that you were loaning to?”, Giannoulias couldn’t fudge his way to safety. “I didn’t know the extent of their activity,” he said.

That is a roundabout way of saying: “Yes.”

It’s probably true that Giannoulias was not fully briefed on their illegal activity, which is the sort of thing felons rarely publicize even to their financial enablers. But he and his colleagues did know — or should have known — enough to show these clients the door. Not only had Giorango served prison time in the 1990s for his involvement in illegal bookmaking, but he and Stavropoulos had been convicted, in 2004, of new felonies for which they later served prison time.

Ouch. It’s amazing that a guy like Giannoulias was selected by his party to run for Senate. Only in Chicago…

Beltway ConfidentialChicagoSenateUS

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

<em>The San Francisco Peace Pagoda stands tall in between Japan Center East and West malls.</em>
 (Ida Mojadad/The Examiner)
Patrons return to the Japantown mall

‘We’re so happy—it’s really hard to make a profit’

Crab fisherman Skip Ward of Marysville casts his crab net out off a pier near Fort Point. (Craig Lee/Special to The	Examiner)
San Francisco came back to life, and we captured it all

Last spring, in the early days of the pandemic, the bestselling authors… Continue reading

Revelers at Madrone Art Bar in the early hours of June 15, 2021 (Courtesy Power Quevedo).
No social distancing at Motown-themed dance party

‘I don’t care how anyone feels, I just want to dance!’

Scenes from an SFO-bound BART train on Tuesday, June 15, 2021, the day California fully reopened for business after the COVID pandemic. (Al Saracevic/SF Examiner)
SF reopens: BART riders dreading the end of the pandemic

‘I’ve forgotten what it’s like to be packed like sardines’

High noon in Union Square: Ten Canyon High School (Anaheim, CA) graduates, Class of 2021, on a senior trip in San Francisco. They weren’t certain of City rules so they remained masked outdoors. Even though one of their personal vehicles was broken into while touring Golden Gate Park, they appreciated the beauty of San Francisco. (Catherine Bigelow/The Examiner)
Signs of life: From Union Square style to Portola soul

‘The return of this icon is thrilling’

Most Read