* Some heavy-hitter lawyers have filed suit to stop the federal government from collecting the $200 million ComEd fine because, they claim, it violates federal victim restitution law…
Their argument is that ComEd effectively admitted to bribery, but at the same time CEO Joseph Dominguez and others separately have argued before state regulators and others that ratepayers suffered no financial damage in the scheme. The U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago, meanwhile, has failed to follow federal requirements that should favor restitution of victims over a fine that goes to the U.S. Treasury, according to the motion. […]
Federal law requires restitution of victims to take precedence over any fine payable to the government, the plaintiffs argued. “In the parties’ proposed resolution of this case, however, not a penny is going to alleviate any crime victim’s losses, including the state of Illinois and ComEd ratepayers,” according to the motion.
ComEd agreed with federal prosecutors’ assertion that its scheme provided the utility with at least a $150 million benefit.
“Illinois ratepayers have funded the $150 million ‘benefit’ defendant admits it sought as the quid pro quo for the multiple payoffs ComEd made in its bribery scheme,” the motion said. “It is noteworthy that the government had the opportunity to press restitution claims against ComEd, but it did not do so. By its inaction, and without lawful authority, the government apparently proposes to forfeit statutory restitution claims the non-federal victims have against ComEd, because the DPA provides not a cent for restitution. Essentially, the federal government is, without authority, monetarily preferring itself.”
Go read the rest.