Operation Tow Scam - II

September 11, 2009

How about this action? Tow truck drivers paying bribes to police?

Audio Transcript

Mr. Schiff: How about this action? Tow truck drivers paying bribes to police?

Mr. Rice: "We’ve had an investigation ongoing here in Chicago for several years now code-named Operation Tow Scam.”

Mr. Schiff: That’s Ross Rice, a special agent at the FBI’s field office in Chicago. He says independent tow truck operations were targeted when the FBI got a call from a driver reporting the bribes.

Mr. Rice: "Obviously when you get caught, the tow truck drivers are blaming the police, and the police are blaming the drivers. But, either event, the police officers should not be taking the money, and the tow operators know they shouldn’t be offering the bribes, so they are both culpable in our eyes.”

Mr. Schiff: Rice says that the police officer in question got to work one day and was taken into custody.

Mr. Rice: "The arrest was made at a police station when they reported for duty.”

Mr. Schiff: Rice says the officer on the take is spending some time behind bars.

Mr. Rice: "The police officer pled guilty to the charges against him, and he was sentenced in U.S. District Court to a period of two years incarceration.”

Mr. Schiff: Rice says that tow truck operators were paying between $600 and $800 a week to police so the drivers could work accident scenes in specific areas. I’m Neal Schiff of the Bureau, and that’s the FBI’s Closed Case of the Week.”

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