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Former Redflex CEO, ex-Chicago official indicted for rigging red light camera business

A former CEO of red-light camera operator Redflex Traffic Systems was indicted Wednesday on charges she and a top Chicago official conspired to rig the traffic camera business for a decade.

Karen Finley was indicted with former city official John Bills in a $2 million bribery scheme that ran from 2002 until 2012, the Chicago Tribune said.

The Redflex system in Chicago generated nearly $500 million in $100 tickets, becoming the biggest red-light camera operation in the United States.

The company ran the program until March 2014, the Chicago Tribune said.

Finley, 54, of Cave Creek, Arizona, was indicted on nine counts of mail fraud, three counts of wire fraud, three counts of bribery and one count of conspiracy to commit bribery.

Bills, 53, of Chicago, was indicted on nine counts of mail fraud, three counts of wire fraud, three counts of bribery, three counts of filing a false income tax return, one count of conspiracy to commit extortion and one count of conspiracy to commit bribery.

He was managing deputy commissioner for transportation and oversaw the red light camera program

Another man, Martin O’Malley, 73, a friend of Bills who had been a consultant to Redflex in Chicago, was indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit bribery.

Last year, Minnesota-based Image Sensing Systems said an investigation by police in Poland had triggered an FCPA and U.K. Bribery Act investigation.

The company said two employees of its Poland unit had been charged with criminal violations.

Image Sensing and its subsidiary weren’t charged by Polish authorities, the company said.

The Chicago Tribune said Wednesday: “A Tribune analysis of 4 million violations recorded since 2007 reveals suspicious patterns at dozens of intersections, raises questions about system’s management.”

Finley’s lawyer said his client will plead not guilty to all charges.

Bills and O’Malley have denied any wrongdoing.

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Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.

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