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Lake County casino investor sues partners
By Rob Olmstead | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 4/29/2009 12:01 AM

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When Illinois Gaming Board administrators awarded the state's 10th Casino license in December, one of the reasons they didn't give it to a Waukegan company was because an investor in the Lake County company still had financial ties to indicted businessman William Cellini, the board said in a written statement.

Now, one of the investors in that Lake County casino company is suing its partners, claiming they misled the investor about Cellini's involvement.

BDK Waukegan, LLC filed suit Tuesday in Cook County Circuit Court, accusing the casino company, SL Waukegan, LLC with fraud. The suit does not say who owns BKD Waukegan, an investor in the main casino company, SL Waukegan.

Also named as defendants are BDK Waukegan investors Alan Ludwig, Richard Stein and Michael Pizzuto.

Ludwig declined to comment, saying he had not yet seen the lawsuit. Stein and Pizzuto could not be reached.

The suit claims BDK Waukegan was assured Cellini had at one time had ties but later sold his interest in the casino and "no longer maintained any interest or involvement whatsoever."

In fact, however, the Illinois Gaming Board contended that while Cellini had sold his ownership, if the casino was awarded to SL Waukegan, Pizzuto would have to pay Cellini's company the balance of its prior costs in the project.

Because of the representation, the suit claimed, BDK invested $1 million. The suit seeks compensation in excess of $800,000 and triple that in punitive damages.