A former vice chancellor for City Colleges of Chicago has been charged with obtaining kickbacks and other payments from vendors.
Sharod Gordon, 45, of Oak Park, has been charged with 16 counts of wire fraud for allegedly steering contracts for community canvassing and flyer distribution services to vendors in exchange for payments.
Gordon served as district director of community affairs, associate vice chancellor of community relations and student recruitment, and, most recently, as vice chancellor of legislative and community affairs at City Colleges.
City College employees or associates of Gordon formed some of the vendor companies to receive the contracts, the indictment alleges.
In some instances, the work was never performed even though invoices were submitted and City Colleges paid them, the charges allege. Upon receipt of the payments, representatives of several vendor companies gave a portion of the payments to Gordon, directly or indirectly, and some of the payments were in the form of kickbacks, the charges allege. The indictment seeks forfeiture of $349,500 in criminally derived proceeds from Gordon and seven co-defendants.
The indictment was returned Nov. 19 in U.S. District Court in Chicago. The Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the probe. The Office of Inspector General for the City Colleges of Chicago provided assistance in the investigation.
In addition to Gordon, the indictment charges seven other defendants with participating in the scheme:
- Angelique Orr, 47, of Berwyn, who is charged with five counts of wire fraud. Orr was married to Gordon from 1998-2013, the indictment states.
- Krystal Stokes, 39, of North Bay Village, Fla., who is charged with two counts of wire fraud and one count of making a false statement to the FBI. Stokes previously worked at City Colleges as a community outreach worker.
- Marva Smith, 37, of Chicago, who is charged with two counts of wire fraud. Smith worked at City Colleges as a liaison to governmental agencies.
- Tiffany McQueen, 43, of Naperville, who is charged with two counts of wire fraud and one count of making a false statement to the FBI. McQueen was an alleged associate of Gordon.
- Nancy Vazquez, 48, of Chicago, who is charged with two counts of wire fraud. Vazquez was a lobbyist who operated a lobbying and consulting firm.
- Marquita Payne, 38, of Frisco, Texas, who is charged with two counts of wire fraud. Payne was an alleged associate of Gordon and the registered agent of a consulting company.
- Tiffany Capel, 35, of Detroit, who is charged with one count of wire fraud. Capel was an alleged associate of Gordon who operated a marketing, branding and apparel design company.
Each count of wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, while the maximum sentence for each false statement count is five years.
Arraignments for Gordon, Vazquez, McQueen, Smith, Orr and Payne were scheduled for Nov. 26. Capel and Stokes are scheduled to be arraigned Monday (Dec. 2).