Kadner: Blaxican a portrait of American greed
By Phil Kadner firstname.lastname@example.org April 10, 2014 8:14PM
Eric Jaglicic, who goes by the name "Chicago Blaxican." | File photo
Updated: May 12, 2014 6:07AM
Eric Jaglicic telephoned the other day to say he was going to be featured on a TV show called “American Greed.”
And the fact that he would boast about appearing on a show that features scam artists tells you all you need to know about the rapper better known as “Blaxican.”
He went to prison in 2008 after perpetrating one of the most outrageous frauds in the history of Illinois.
Although he denies some of the details to this day, Jaglicic allegedly talked a businessman in Chicago Ridge into financing a movie he called “The Record Deal,” which was going to feature comedian Adam Sandler and rapper Ice T.
“I never stole anyone’s money,” Jaglicic claims. “He (business owner) gave me a check for $442,000, and I used it all to buy a home.”
He quickly equipped that house in Homer Glen with a recording studio, in-ground swimming pool, outdoor basketball court, arcade games and a 650-gallon fish tank he filled with sharks. He also bought two baby alligators.
“I like sharks, what can I say?” Jaglicic replied when I asked him about the fish. “If I had itty-bitty goldfish or a cat that went ‘purrr’ everybody in the suburbs would have said, ‘Awww, isn’t that cute.’ But I’m a rapper, man. Sharks are cool.”
He served two years and eight months in various state prisons and said he hasn’t been able to find work since being released.
“I tried Menards, Home Depot, even McDonald’s,” he said. “No one wants to hire a person with a criminal record.”
But he’s not asking anyone to feel sorry for him. Just the opposite.
“I want to raise $1.6 million to make a movie,” he said.
“I’m serious,” he said. “It’s going to star Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson.”
They would be a neat trick because they’re both dead.
“Hey, I already raised money for a movie starring Adam Sandler and Ice T. Maybe they’ll be in this movie, too. And Lisa Madigan (the attorney general who put him in prison).”
Jaglicic has actually changed his rapper name to “Chicago Blaxican” because inmates in prison told him there are other “Blaxicans” across the country.
In a previous column, he explained that he had thought of going by the name “Homer Blaxican” but realized that sounded like he was a member of “The Simpsons” family.
I asked Jaglicic, now 33, where he lives these days and how he supports himself.
“I live in Chicago with relatives,” he said. “I went from living the life to this. That’s why I need to be making another movie.”
I still can’t figure out how Jaglicic persuaded people to invest more than $1 million in his first movie. Actually, as he claims, he did most of the spending but very little of the actual fundraising.
Brian Falatovich, who owned a legitimate CD and DVD duplication business, financed the movie deal. He invested some of his money to start and then persuaded family members and some of his closest friends to come up with more money.
On the CNBC-TV show “American Greed” on Wednesday, some of the investors said they have forgiven Falatovich, who also went to prison. His friends said they felt he had been flimflammed by Jaglicic.
But I agree with the Illinois securities agent who investigated the case and who said he didn’t believe Jaglicic was capable of conning anyone out of that kind of money.
Despite his big dreams and fanciful notions of fame, there’s nothing slick about Jaglicic. He comes off as a rather engaging but obvious street hustler.
He claims to this day that he really intended to make a movie, but it was going to be all about him and his life as a rapper living in the suburbs.
“That’s why I needed the big house all tricked out,” Jaglicic said. “I need that as the backdrop for my movie.”
What about the $6,000 he allegedly paid Ice T to appear at Polekatz strip club, the $2,700 for his airplane ticket and limousine and the $80,000 Jaglicic paid for a party at Polekatz? Video from all of that was going to be in his movie, he said.
“I never signed a contract with anyone to produce a movie, never promised anyone in writing I would be making a movie, and they never produced a single contract or piece of paperwork at my trial because there wasn’t any,” Jaglicic said.
People just handed their money to Falatovich, who had a splendid reputation before getting involved in “The Record Deal,” and he gave it over to Jaglicic.
Falatovich was convicted of felony forgery and obstruction of justice for writing and signing sworn statements clearing Jaglicic of any involvement in the alleged fraud.
“The state came in and confiscated all my stuff and sold it,” Jaglicic said. “You know why they had it in for me? I made a rap song about how suburban cops were all nerds, short, bald and fat.”
I thought that was an overstatement until, on “American Greed,” the state securities agent explained that he played the rap song for police officers before they raided Jaglicic’s home. He said it helped fire them up.
As for Jaglicic, as far as I can tell he’s never held a 9-to-5 job and has no intention of ever doing so.
“I’m serious about that movie,” he told me. “You can invest in it yourself. It’s going to be my story.”
I’ve always thought it would make a great Adam Sandler movie — a guy who wants to be a rap star convinces a small-business owner who wants fame and easy money to invest in a movie that doesn’t exist.
All sorts of suburban working stiffs who are not wealthy offer to invest their hard-earned money in the project. Nobody asks to meet with the stars, the director or even see a contract.
And in the meantime, the star of the movie is buying a huge house in the suburbs, buying expensive cars and having the time of his life.
In the end, he goes to prison but has no remorse.
He knows he will never live that well again. But he will always know he put together “The Record Deal.”