The owner of two education-services companies has pleaded guilty to offering bribes and kickbacks to the former head of Chicago Public Schools.
Federal prosecutors on Tuesday said Gary Solomon entered into a plea agreement admitting he offered former school district CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett bribes and kickbacks in exchange for her steering $23 million in contracts to his companies. Byrd-Bennett previously worked for the companies. Prosecutors say the 48-year-old from Wilmette also provided Byrd-Bennett with other perks, including meals and sports tickets.
Byrd-Bennett pleaded guilty last year to wire fraud. Solomon also pleaded guilty to the same charge. He faces up to 20 years in prison when he’s sentenced March 24.
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Prosecutors say Solomon’s companies, SUPES Academy and Synesi Associates, also pleaded guilty to wire fraud and face millions in fines.