February 11, 2024

Former IL state senator exposed for role in insurance scheme

In the latest scandalous chapter in the story of a beleaguered former Illinois lawmaker, onetime state Sen. Annazette Collins was just exposed by federal prosecutors for having submitted false insurance policies for individuals who did not seek them or did not even exist, as the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Parthum, the policies were linked to bank accounts that either Collins herself controlled or that were under the purview of her daughter.

Trial yields startling disclosure

Collins' involvement in the scheme came to light Friday as part of the former legislator's ongoing trial for tax-related offenses.

Federal prosecutors in that case had already revealed that Collins had been fired from employment with American Income Life Insurance but agreed not to expose the reason why unless she decided to take the witness stand in her own defense as part of the tax trial.

That arrangement received approval from U.S. District Judge Jorge Alonso, and even though Collins changed her mind about testifying at the last minute, the disclosure had already been made due to her prior representations to the contrary.

As revealed by prosecutors, Collins had been fired from the insurance company in September 2014 “for cause and violation of company policy and regulations.”

Tax trial continues

As CBS News reported back in 2021, Collins was indicted on a series of tax counts for which she is currently on trial.

The charges against her included counts of underrepresenting personal income over the course of two years, failing to file a personal return for a different year, and failing to file corporate returns for a lobbying firm for a period of two years.

According to Breitbart, the amount of taxes Collins is accused of attempting to evade over the course of those years reached roughly $100,000.

Closing arguments in the case were presented on Friday afternoon, and jurors began deliberations that continued for two hours thereafter, but they did not reach a verdict before leaving for the day, the Sun-Times explained.

Complicated past, potentially troubled future

In addition to her own legal troubles, Collins' name has, according to the Sun-Times, surfaced in two corruption trials over the past year, including the case of four political power brokers who were found guilty of a conspiracy to bribe former state House Speaker Michael Madigan.

According to a state government biography of Collins, she previously served as a Chicago School Board administrator, and worked in the Department of Children and Family Services, the Cook County Probation Department, and as a prison correctional officer, but depending on the outcome of jury deliberations, she could find herself on the other side of the bars in the not-too-distant future.

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