Chicago/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on May 20, 2024
Chicago Man Pleads Guilty to Lying About Mob Connections, Faces Up to 5 Years in PrisonSource: Unsplash/Tingey Injury Law Firm

Joseph Weiss has admitted to spinning a web of lies to federal investigators concerning his brother's alleged mob ties, specifically to notorious Chicago hitman Frank "The German" Schweihs. In a recent court proceeding, Weiss pleaded guilty to one count of lying to the FBI, an offense that could land him up to five years behind bars, as disclosed by the Chicago Tribune. U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly has marked August 12 for the sentencing hearing, adding another chapter to what has already been a sprawling saga of corruption and criminal association touching the highest levels of Illinois' political machinery.

The indictment unveiled that Joseph Weiss was caught up in his brother's sweepstakes gaming business, one operating on the fringes of the law with video poker-like machines. But it was the Chicago Sun-Times that unearthed the more sinister dimensions of the story, connecting James Weiss, Joseph's brother, to Schweihs. The late mobster had a reputation that cast a long shadow over the city's underside. Weiss' guilty plea adds yet more layers to an already dense tapestry of political corruption mingling with old-world mobster lore, as reported by the Chicago Sun-Times.

The indictment details alleged lies weaved by Joseph Weiss when questioned by the FBI and IRS agents in January 2022. He was previously thought to know nothing about his brother's business dealings with Schweihs or another individual, mentioned only as "Individual B" in the case documents. This front came crashing down with evidence of wiretapped calls revealing his knowledge of the collaborations between the players involved. According to the Chicago Tribune, Joseph Weiss was recorded saying, "Jimmy and Frank were good friends," and after a violent incident at James Weiss' business, "Frank was in hiding, and Jimmy called Frank and says, hey man, these guys just busted up my (expletive) store."

James Weiss is currently serving a 5 ½-year sentence in a frigid Minnesota federal prison facility, with his release date not due until August 2028. His time behind bars is the culmination of a conviction involving the bribery of state lawmakers, knitting together a dense fabric of criminality that includes state Rep. Luis Arroyo and state Sen. Terry Link, both with their own sentences to serve. As the Chicago Sun-Times detailed, Link received probation after his cooperation with federal authorities paved the way for the convictions.