7/21/2014Illinois Man Sues Over Chicago Redflex Fraud
Motorist does not want Redflex to profit from its bribery in Chicago, Illinois.
Crime should not pay, says an Illinois motorist red light camera vendor Redflex Traffic Systems. Matthew G. Falkner, an investment banker, argues that the Australia firm unjustly enriched itself to the tune of $100 million from vehicle owners in Chicago through bribery and corruption. He does not want them to get away with it.
Redflex admits its employees were involved in a "protracted and covert scheme" to bribe a Chicago official into signing and expanding a red light camera contract. This official, John Bills, was arrested and charged in May. Former Redflex Executive Vice President Aaron M. Rosenberg admitted he bribed officials and he said that he did so with the full knowledge of the Redflex CEO and board of directors. He has been cooperating with federal investigators, supplying documents and other proof.
Falkner's Infiniti was photographed by a red light camera on South Stony Island Avenue on the morning of January 19, 2013. Redflex mailed him a $100 citation, and he paid it. Now Falkner wants his money back.
"Through a criminal scheme of bribery, defendants secured the contract with the city of Chicago to install, manage and operate the red light camera ticket system in Chicago," Falkner's attorney, Thomas C. Cronin, wrote to the court. "The object and intention of the bribery scheme was not only to secure said contract, but also assure certain terms in the contract favorable to defendants. The most important such contractual term, and the primary object of the bribery, was a provision setting the amount from each red light ticket paid by a class member that would be paid to defendants."
Redflex set up a deal where it took a 20 to 25 percent cut of each citation issued, which means Falkner paid into the system based on a contract that was void at its inception because it was built upon a criminal act of bribery, the suit alleges.
"Defendants must be ordered to pay restitution and disgorge the ill-gotten gains," Cronin wrote.
The suit seeks a return of the $100 million Redflex obtained, plus punitive damages. US District Court Judge Amy J. St. Eve has set a status conference for August 27 on the case.