As Rosemont was budding in the 1970s, mayoral pal Ray Rosato paid a visit to a local factory executive.
The village needed the factory’s land, and Rosato offered to sell the executive a plot he owned with partner Isaac Degen in another part of town. Stephens later offered to extend roads, water and sewer lines for free. Rosemont even paid the factory enough to cover the costs of a new facility.
Behind the scenes, Stephens collected $87,000 from an interest in the deal. Eventually, Stephens, Degen and Rosato were indicted on fraud charges.
In a 1985 verdict, a jury found the three did nothing illegal. A federal judge said they were just being good businessmen.
Degen and Rosato stayed on as consultants to oversee the village’s major construction projects. They built the stadium and expanded the convention center, now named after the first mayor.
The two turned up as partners in the contract to build a casino in Rosemont — a project wrangled by the former mayor’s tremendous political clout but ultimately undone amid accusations of insider deals and organized crime influence.
They also partnered with Stephens family members in a catering company given exclusive rights to provide food at the convention center.
Other friendships have been lucrative for the family too.
Nick Boscarino, whom the state gaming board accused of having mob ties, had partnered on a convention business with Donald E. Stephens and a cleaning company with the mayor’s son Mark. That was until Boscarino was caught helping cheat Rosemont out of nearly $300,000 in an insurance scheme.
As the scandal brewed, the mayor announced he and the village were cutting ties with Boscarino.
Even after Boscarino’s conviction in 2004 on money laundering charges, the village’s go-to developers, Degen and Rosato, partnered with Boscarino in companies that state and county records show are tied to non-Rosemont properties.
Boscarino could not be reached for comment. Neither Degen nor Rosato returned calls for comment.
Degen and Rosato are in the midst of Rosemont’s newest major project. Bradley Stephens said Degen and Rosato are partners in a company that got $26 million in contracts to manage the construction of the softball stadium and new bar district.Pages: 1 2 3 4 5