Former Deputy Liquor Commissioner of East St. Louis Sentenced for Extortion Scheme and for Lying to Federal Agents
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 12, 2010|
Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that on November 10, 2010, WALTER DONTEZ HILL, age 32, of Belleville, Illinois, was sentenced to a term of 60 months in federal prison; a fine of $2,500; and restitution of $1,020. HILL was also ordered to serve a term of three years of supervised release following his release from incarceration.
On June 16, 2010, HILL pled guilty to extortion under color of official right; and making a false statement to a federal agent.
HILL's conviction and sentencing are the result of his conduct in using his official position as Deputy Liquor Commissioner in East St. Louis, Illinois, to solicit and obtain money and property not due him or his office from liquor license holders in East St. Louis that included cash, liquor and requests for sexual favors. HILL additionally made false statements during the investigation to agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and to the Internal Revenue Service pertaining to whether he ever took money from businesses in East St. Louis and whether he ever used another individual to pick up money from businesses in East St. Louis.
According to U.S. Attorney Wigginton, "Those public officials who violate their oath of office and act to the detriment of the citizens they serve, strike at the very core of our democracy. Therefore, the prosecution of public officials who engage in corrupt activities will continue to be one of the top priorities of the United States Attorney's Office."
Stu McArthur, Special Agent in Charge of the Springfield Division of the FBI stated, "Public officials are entrusted with power from the public they serve. Corrupt public officials destroy the trust our citizens have placed in their government, whether city, state, or federal. Combating public corruption is a number one priority of the FBI's criminal investigative division; and we will investigate and bring to justice all those who violate this trust and thereby deprive the American public of the honest service they deserve."
The investigation of the case was handled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service/Criminal Investigations. The prosecution of the case was handled by Assistant United States Attorneys Steven Weinhoeft and Norman R. Smith.
If you come across evidence of public corruption activities, please contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation at (877) U-TIP-OFF.