Excerpt from from my book.
[NOTE: The following dialogue is taken from FBI transcripts in my possession.]
ADA: “Dan was bribing me. Mike Lowecki, the owner of the company, wasn’t aware of any of the payments.
AGENT LEFKO: “When was the last time you spoke with Dan?”
ADA: “It’s been two or three years… ever since Mike fired him. Dan was a greedy man who manipulated me. (pleading) He knew I was a single mom having money problems and I was a naïve newcomer when I took this job.”
The very next day, Ada went to work as a cooperating witness for the FBI. Now, to be quite candid, I can’t blame her. Considering the charges she was facing could land her in jail for twenty or more years, she really had no choice.
Over the next couple of weeks Ada met with Dan on several occasions outside her office to discuss their future arrangement. And of course, the feds were in tow, recording, photographing and videotaping their meetings, all the while building Dan’s renewed trust with Ada.
Shortly after the New Year of 2005, Dan met with Ada near O’Hare airport in the lobby of a hotel where he handed Ada an envelope of cash. They finalized their deal and it was agreed that after Dan and Ada negotiated the selling price of any number of contracts, an additional three percent would be added, later to be kicked back to Ada.
Purchase a copy of my first book “Pay To Play” My Odyssey from Multimillionaire Businessman to PRISONER #18099-424 @ http://www.amazon.com/dp/1720549591. “Pay To Play” My Odyssey from Multimillionaire Businessman to PRISONER #18099-424 #chicagocorruption #pageturner #goodreads #onlyinchicago #rickkogan #paytoplay


My daughter Megan and I met Gianni Russo last night at Cafe Pomigliano. Gianni played Carlo Rizzi in the movie, The Godfather.
Check out Gianni’s new book, “Hollywood Godfather” @ www.amazon.com/dp/1250181399 
Who could forget this scene from The Godfather!
Connie Papa never talked about business in front of the kids.
Carlo Rizzi Shut up, Connie.
Sonny Hey, don’t you EVER tell her to shut up, you got that?
Mama Corleone Santino, don’t interfere.
[Silence reigns around the table for a while] 
Carlo Rizzi Sonny, Tom, I’d like to talk to you after dinner. I think I can do a lot more for this family…
Sonny We don’t discuss business at the table.
#onlyinchicago #giannirusso #cafepomigliano #godfather #hollywoodgodfather


“You sometimes hear that a few wrong turns can land you in prison–that it can happen to anyone. But I admit, I never thought something like that could happen to me or anyone I considered to be an upstanding citizen. This book disabused me of that notion. It CAN happen to you, and it DID happen to Michael Lowecki. He was “living the dream,” having turned a high-school landscaping job into a multi-million dollar business. But contracts with the city of Chicago or any government entity aren’t like contacts in the private sector. You can’t wine and dine the way you might do to your other good customers. That was one wrong turn. You can’t trust people when they ask you to deviate from normal payment arrangements, even when the reason for it sounds perfectly legitimate. Another wrong turn. And you can’t afford to go before a judge with a blind plea when the judge wants to make an example of you. A very wrong turn. Mr. Lowecki paid heavily for these mistakes: he served time in Leavenworth Penitentiary.

Mr. Lowecki’s story is well-told. He takes us on his personal journey. We learn how he met and courted the love of his life, how he questioned his own work ethic when he brother suffered a heart attack, how he continued to trust even when a nagging voice inside made him wonder if his trust was justified. By the time it all starts going south, we feel like we know the author. He’s a good guy, someone you’d like to have as a neighbor. In fact, the whole family seems like they’d be nice neighbors. All the more reason that the horror of Leavenworth is at first hard to believe but then becomes all too real.

The author describes prison life so vividly that I found myself feeling edgy the whole time. You can’t afford any wrong turns here; the stakes are too high, both with the prisoners and the guards. And life after prison doesn’t give the warm, fuzzy feeling you crave so badly at this point in the book. You realize that what happened to the author could happen to any of us–that’s what’s so compelling and downright scary about his story.

I recommend you read the book. Your sensibilities will be offended, but you won’t be disappointed.” Amazon Customer

Purchase a copy of my first book “Pay To Play” My Odyssey from Multimillionaire Businessman to PRISONER #18099-424 @ http://www.amazon.com/dp/1720549591.



Hello, I Must Be Going

The alarm on my cell phone began beeping at 6:30 AM. I instantly relapsed into a familiar state of uneasiness. This time it was not just a feeling of apprehension about the future, I felt the terror button depressed, and a surge of horror filled every nerve ending in my body. From a reclined stupor, I rebounded into a full throttle adrenaline rush.
I maneuvered through the dark and over to the sink area, where I combed the counter with both hands looking for my nylon toiletry bag. My hands were trembling. I took the cap off a bottle of beta blockers I was prescribed after my indictment. If there was ever a time in my life that I needed drugs to survive, this was it. Something really potent like Valium would’ve been more assuring, but a half a milligram each of Inderol and Clonazepam was all I had.
Excerp from my book “Pay To Play” My Odyssey from Multimillionaire Businessman to PRISONER #18099-424 #chicagocorruption #literaryagent #pageturner #goodreads


This little rascal, Lucy, soiled the carpeting in the basement this past winter like a urinal at Wrigley Field in August. I can’t say I’m surprised. The poor gal struggled every time she’d try to relieve herself. With old Jack Frost nipping at her toes, she was worried about slipping when squatting down on the icy crusty snowpack to do her business.

I was usually in a big rush when taking her out for a quick stroll before bed, so I’d just crunch into a pair of gym shoes in my bare feet, stepping down on the heels, you know, like a pair of clogs.

“Go potty…go potty, go potty…go potty now! Let’s go potty… Go potty,” I sweet-talked her, following behind, dashes of light bolting across the yard from the beacon on my iPhone.

While badgering her she’d eagerly move her snoot back and forth like a vacuum cleaner, defiant to my coaxing, sniffing the snow, combing the yard like a starving aardvark. Inevitably I’d I’d lose my damn balance, and catch myself with a bare foot on the cold ground.

Pleading, I’d raise my voice, “C’mon Lucy…go potty, go potty.”

A yank or two on her leash and she’d go into up-dog pose. After a quick squirt we’d both scurry back into the warmth of the house. I reasoned she didn’t drink as much water over winter, so less piddle.

I had no idea Lucy had a private area inside, where conditions were more suitable for a long pee. With no kids at home anymore I rarely spend anytime in the lower level, where she was doing her secret business.

Oh boy was I pissed off when I made the discovery. Not so much at Lucy, just the drudgery it caused.

So for two weeks in my spare time I’d pull back the carpeting from the tack strip, revealing the hidden stains on the underside. Then I’d replace the padding, depending on how bad it was, or clean it, the padding, and then scrub both sides of the carpeting with my own solution. I use a formula containing Oxiclean, Ajax, white vinegar, Windex, and hydrogen peroxide. It works like a charm.

Perched at the top of the stairs, Lucy was pretty reassured about the whole thing while she watched me muck away. I told her several times, “if you ever pee down here again, I’m gonna have you put you to sleep, forever…” Then she gave me that look, and I went back to cleaning.

When I’m not tending to Lucy I’m writing. Purchase a copy of my first book “Pay To Play” My Odyssey from Multimillionaire Businessman to PRISONER #18099-424 @ http://www.amazon.com/dp/1720549591.









I shifted into Park and turned the engine off. I got out and felt the crisp night air on my face, then was startled when two men approached me in the driveway. They were both wearing knee length overcoats and I could see their spit-shined black leather dress shoes glimmering from the street lamp overhead.
“Michael Lowecki?” the lanky, more serious one asked, pulling his lapel open and reaching inside his overcoat.
I froze with confusion. Who are these two men? Where did they come from? Why are they converging on me like this? And why are they looking for me!?
“I’m agent Dwyer with the FBI, and this is Mr. Lefko with the U.S. Attorney’s office,” he stated after retrieving a leather pocketbook and opening it to display a shiny badge.
“I… I’m Mike Lowecki.” They’d surprised me, sneaking up in the dark like that. Now I was pissed, and ready to defend myself if need be.
“We’re investigating Ada Brooks. We’d like ask you a few questions,” Lefko spoke up.
Excerpt from my book “Pay To Play” My Odyssey from Multimillionaire Businessman to PRISONER #18099-424                purchase a copy @ http://www.amazon.com/dp/1720549591.
#memoir #onlyinchicago #screenplaywiter #pageturners

Version 2“Abdominal Breach” Better known as the Inguinal Hernia is when part of the small intestine or fat pushes through a weak part of the lower abdominal wall. I lived with this minor protrusion for damn near two years with no pain, still able to get about each day, even riding a bike, and working out with only some slight discomfort.

I recently decided to have surgery where a piece of mesh is inserted on the inside of the abdominal wall to seal the rupture. It was outpatient and I was in-and-out of the hospital in less than six hours. Besides being a little intimidated by the actual size of the incision, I thought I was having laparoscopic and not open surgery, and a little groggy from the anesthesia, all was well. That was until the next day when the pain set in.

The next week I lived in an armchair in front of the TV in the family room. I was popping Norco as often as I could to manage my tormenting gut. In between rounds of blackouts, when I wasn’t holding a bucket in my lap from the fear of throwing up due to the nausea of the pain killers, I’d isolate my upper body and push myself out of the chair to make the five minute shuffle to the bathroom. I kept a small pillow on hand which I’d leave behind on the long journey so I could keep my balance, praying I didn’t urge to cough or sneeze. When I anticipated any kind of outburst I’d cushion my groin while slumped over the edge of a countertop or chair so I didn’t burst the incision and have my guts spill out.

It will be five weeks tomorrow and I’d say I’m just about 85 percent recovered. Listen up though, the first two weeks were hell, I’m not kidding! I’ve had pain in the past including shoulder surgery, but nothing compared to having my abdomen assaulted like that. It was very humbling, made me feel feeble and completely vulnerable. I was even frightened of Lucy, my nine pound Lhasa Apso, scared to death of her jumping at my side and knocking me over. And a word to the wise, go on a high-fiber liquid diet a few days before the surgery, and a couple of weeks after. Constipation is your mortal enemy!

“Which of these instruments do you play?”

“Bull fiddle.”

“Fascinating! Do you use a bow or do you just pluck it?”

“Most of the time, I slap it.” 

Circa 1959 – a quote from the movie “Some Like it Hot” starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon.



I recently acquired this vintage 1959 Silvertone Jimmy Reed Thin Twin guitar. Silvertone was a store brand used by Sears Roebuck and Company for its line of consumer electronics and musical instruments from 1915 to 1972. Silvertone guitars became popular with novice musicians due to their low cost and wide availability in Sears stores and the Sears catalog. 

Jerry Garcia, Chet Atkins, Bob Dylan, John Fogerty, Joan Jett, Dave Grohl, played a Silvertone for their first guitar. Pete Townshend used them in live performance with The Who. Jack White uses vintage Silvertone amplifiers, and singer-sonwriter Beck’s main electric guitar is a Silvertone 1448. 

When I’m not playing guitar I’m writing. Purchase a copy of my first book “Pay To Play” My Odyssey from Multimillionaire Businessman to PRISONER #18099-424 @ http://www.amazon.com/dp/1720549591.

Review Template - Leavenworth Gate 1

“The most heart warming story you’ll ever read. What is written in this book is 100% authentic and genuine to what actually happened and what the family went through. This story is about the true strength and perseverance a man had while going through one of the most difficult situations one could be put in. Reading the book, you will feel incredibly empathetic to what Mike Lowecki went through. At times you’ll feel nervous and gut wrenched. Most of all, you will feel a deep amount of respect for the brave face Mike put on to ensure his family would be okay while he went through hell and back. Most of all, it’s a story about family. At the end of the book you will be brought to happy tears realizing how a family truly sticks together through thick and thin, no matter what.” Amazon customer

I’m happy to be republished on Amazon through the self-publishing company Createspace. After some bad advice from my past literary agent I had removed my book from the site. It was a little painful to get republished but finally I’m alive again, purchase a copy @ http://www.amazon.com/dp/1720549591.

Instagram Teaser #4 I can't breathe

“Whataya think Cooter? Pretty exciting stuff, huh?”  I provoked him.

“I can’t move… I can’t breathe… help me… help me get out of here… I need to… to take… to take a shower…” He could barely speak, his jaw visibly trembling out of control. Cooter’s phobia had caused him paralysis; overcome with anxiety, he was almost incapacitated.

Oh my God, what’ve I done? I felt so guilty. I’ve never wanted to see anyone suffer, especially at my hands. I escorted him out of the chapel and back to our unit, like a wounded soldier, where he climbed into his rack and curled up with his back toward me, wrapping his pillow around the back of his head, and holding it tight with both hands.

Excerpt from my book: “Pay To Play” My Odyssey from Multimillionaire Businessman to PRISONER #18099-424 http://www.paytoplaythebook.com