Carrie Austin grand jury also looking into family who’ve made millions on City Hall deals

A federal grand jury subpoena seeking records regarding Ald. Carrie Austin also sought records on five businesses owned by the Nitchoff family, including Koal Enterprises and Mako Properties, which share this building in Summit.

South Side alderman pushed to rename a stretch of a street for the Nitchoffs, whose companies have soundproofed homes near O’Hare, Midway, among other city work.

A federal grand jury looking into Ald. Carrie Austin’s purchase of a new home has also subpoenaed records regarding businesses connected to a family of suburban entrepreneurs whose companies have been paid more than $100 million on City Hall deals in the past 17 years.

All but one of the companies are owned by Lemont businessman Boris Nitchoff, his sons Alex Nitchoff and Constantino Nitchoff and his granddaughter Lauren Nitchoff. The other company is owned by Antonia Tienda, who city records show formerly worked as a project manager for one of the Nitchoff companies.

What their relationship is to Austin isn’t clear. Campaign records don’t show any contributions from them.

But, in September 2016, the longtime South Side alderman got her city council colleagues to approve a resolution to rename a two-block stretch of South Glenroy Avenue between West 105thand West 107thas South Nitchoff Avenue — though the street signs were never changed to reflect that.

Two months later, Austin sponsored a city council tribute to Constantino Nitchoff’s son, a 17-year-old Lemont High School student who’d died.

Austin’s ward office was raided by the FBI on June 19 as part of a grand jury investigation.

The grand jury issued a subpoena seeking items related to “the construction, purchase, financing, rental, or ownership of, and/or work on” the $236,000 home Austin bought in the 12200 block of South Laflin Street last October with a $231,000 loan guaranteed by the federal government.

The subpoena also named five Nitchoff businesses: Mako Properties, Koal Enterprises, Oakk Construction, 995 LLC and Drop Box Inc. It also named Tienda’s Maxwell Services, which frequently works with the Nitchoffs on city contracts.

No one has been charged with any crime in the ongoing federal investigation.

Fran Spielman / Sun-Times
Ald. Carrie Austin.

The U.S. attorney’s office wouldn’t comment. The Nitchoffs, Austin and her lawyers didn’t respond to messages or wouldn’t comment.

Since 2002, City Hall has paid the Nitchoff and Tienda companies $100,219,363 for projects that have included soundproofing homes near O’Hare Airport and Midway Airport and rehabbing or replacing porches and roofs for low-income homeowners across the city.

Boris Nitchoff runs Mako Properties in Summit, which buys delinquent property taxes, collecting interest if the homeowner pays up.

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Boris Nitchoff.

Constantino Nitchoff is president of Koal Enterprises, which shares an address with Mako.

Alex Nitchoff is president of Oakk Construction next door. His daughter Lauren Nitchoff owns Drop Box Inc., which she told City Hall she bought from her father. She also said she previously worked for her father’s and grandfather’s companies.

Both sons subcontract work to Tienda’s Maxwell Services, which City Hall has certified as being owned and operated by a Hispanic woman, allowing the Nitchoffs to meet city contracting requirements. She also has gotten city contracts and hired the Nitchoffs as …read more

Source:: Chicago Sun Times

      

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