Marshall Thompson, a founding member of soul crooners the Chi-Lites, was sentenced to a year in prison for helping people in a Chicago suburb illegally obtain police badges, the Chicago Tribune reports.
The 59-year-old Thompson, who sang baritone on such ’70s hits as “Oh Girl” and “Have You Seen Her,” acted as a “bagman,” delivering cash bribes to police officers in exchange for Dixmoor Park District Police Department badges, the newspaper said. Dozens of people, some with criminal records, paid up to $2,500 to get the badges, which authorized them to carry guns in the park district, an area whose only facility is a children’s playground.
Thompson pleaded guilty in July to federal extortion charges, and was sentenced on October 10 to 12 months and one day in prison, according to the newspaper. He also was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and serve two years’ probation.
Spokespeople for the U.S. Attorney’s office and district court were unavailable for comment.
Thompson helped found the Chi-Lites in the early ’60s. In addition to “Oh Girl” and “Have You Seen Her,” the group scored hits in the early ’70s with “(For God’s Sake) Give More Power to the People” and “There Will Never Be Any Peace (Until God Is Seated at the Conference Table).”