CHICAGO, DEC. 9 -- Four former and current judges and 11 lawyers were charged today in Operation Greylord, the federal investigation of corruption in the country's largest court system.
The charges announced by U.S. Attorney Anton Valukas brought to 13 the number of judges accused of wrongdoing while presiding over legal matters in Cook County courts, according to FBI figures.
Investigators have been racing to get indictments in the probe as the five-year statute of limitations for some violations draws near. The first wave of indictments was announced four years ago, resulting from an undercover investigation dating to the 1970s.
Charges against three of the judges and the lawyers indicted today include racketeering, mail fraud and tax violations related to paying or taking bribes to fix cases.
Charged in federal grand jury indictments or criminal informations were Cook County Circuit Court Judge Daniel P. Glecier, and former circuit judges Roger Seaman and Michael E. McNulty.
Former circuit judge John F. Reynolds, serving a 10-year sentence for a previous Greylord conviction, was charged with perjury in connection with his testimony in the Greylord case.
Criminal informations can take the place of grand jury indictments when defendants indicate they intend to agree to guilty pleas.
With today's indictments, 80 people have been charged in the Greylord case, according to the FBI, which says 58 have been convicted, two have been acquitted and one person who was indicted has died.
Of the judges previously charged, eight have been convicted, one acquitted and one is awaiting trial.
Defendants also include 39 lawyers, nine Cook County deputy sheriffs, seven Chicago police officers, two court clerks and one court-appointed receiver, the FBI said.
Last month, Valukas said authorities were aware of potential problems posed by the statute of limitations.
Some crimes, including tax offenses and perjury, are not covered by the five-year limit. The government says that if a racketeering offense is discovered before the limit expires, all other racketeering activity involving that person can be subject to prosecution, regardless of when it took place.