CHICAGO - Former Chicago-based Bear Stearns & Co. public finance banker P. Nicholas Hurtgen faces prison time after pleading guilty yesterday to aiding in the shakedown of a suburban hospital as it sought Illinois regulatory approval for its construction projects.

The plea agreement was entered yesterday before U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division Judge John F. Grady. Hurtgen's trial was set to start March 9.

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