1/18/2019Australia Lets Redflex Off The Hook
Redflex says the Australian Federal Police have declined to prosecute the firm for red light camera bribery in the United States.
Officials at Redflex Traffic Systems no longer have to worry about seeing any more of their fellow executives behind bars. The Melbourne-based firm told investors on Thursday that the Australian Federal Police have declined to file any charges in relation to red light camera bribery in the United States. The firm had been caught distributing millions of dollars to politicians and government officials in Chicago, Illinois, and Columbus and Cincinnati, Ohio.
In the Windy City, Redflex gave the deputy transportation director $2 million in return for his help in landing the red light camera contract that turned out to be worth $125 million to the company. Exposure of this and the two similar schemes in Ohio satisfied the US Department of Justice, which struck a bargain with Redflex on December 23, 2016. Prosecutors agreed to drop further charges in exchange for the company's acceptance of responsibility for its actions. The deal was conditioned on payment of the $20 million fine assessed by a federal judge in Chicago, Illinois, and a $100,000 fine in Columbus, Ohio. The agreement also required Redflex to file regular reports documenting its efforts to implement anti-bribery training measures, though DOJ officials refuse to make the submissions available for public review.
These non-prosecution agreements rescued Redflex from potential prosecution in over a dozen states. Former Redflex executive vice president Aaron M. Rosenberg admitted that he bribed officials in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington. No details have emerged about which politicians took bribes in each of those jurisdictions. Because he ratted out his colleagues at Redflex, Rosenberg escaped with a felony conviction on his record but no jail time. His boss, US operations chief Karen Finley, was imprisoned on February 6, 2017, and released on December 4 after serving 22 months of her 30-month sentence.
Redflex lobbyist John P. Raphael was convicted of soliciting bribes for speed camera contracts on behalf of Columbus and Cincinnati councilmen. He reported to prison on August 15, 2016, and was released on October 30, 2017, having served nearly all of his 15 month sentence. Martin O'Malley, the bagman for the Redflex bribery scheme, spent just six months in jail. That leaves John Bills as the only individual in the corruption scheme still paying the price for his crime. Chicago's former deputy transportation director is scheduled for release on August 12, 2024.