Former Illinois State Senator Rickey Hendon’s campaign treasurer and six other individuals were arrested on various corruption charges on July 17, the U.S. Attorney’s office said.

Hendon’s ex-treasurer, Dean Nichols, of Oak Park, was among those named in the federal grand jury indictments. Nichols, 62, was charged with three counts of bribery conspiracy.

According to the report, all seven defendants were arrested and scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Cole in Federal Court in Chicago last week. The arrests and charges were announced by Gary Shapiro, acting U.S Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Robert D. Grant, special agent in charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney in Chicago, the seven are charged with bribery conspiracy. They allegedly paid kickbacks to a federal agency official, who did not actually exist, who in turn awarded $25,000 cash grants from the agency.

Investigators said the defendants believed they could obtain multiple $25,000 grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in exchange for returning $5,000 to the fictitious HHS official and others involved in the scheme, according to the report. Nichols allegedly helped steer state grants to specific organizations in exchange for kickbacks.

-Chicago Journal Reports