Former CEO Pleads Guilty to Bribery and Fraud Scheme Involving Red Light Camera Contracts
WASHINGTON—A former chief executive officer of a red light camera vendor pleaded guilty today to participating in an eight-year bribery and fraud scheme, announced Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Carter M. Stewart of the Southern District of Ohio and Special Agent in Charge Angela L. Byers of the FBI’s Cincinnati Field Office.
Karen L. Finley, 55, of Cave Creek, Arizona, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Terence P. Kemp of the Southern District of Ohio to a one-count information charging her with conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery and honest services wire and mail fraud. Finley’s sentencing hearing will be scheduled at a later date.
From December 2005 to February 2013, Finley served as CEO of a red light camera enforcement company. As part of her plea agreement, Finley admitted that, between 2005 and 2013, she participated in a scheme in which the company made campaign contributions to elected public officials in the cities of Columbus and Cincinnati through a consultant retained by the company. According to admissions made in connection with her plea, Finley and others, including another executive of the company, agreed to provide the conduit campaign contributions with the understanding that the elected public officials would assist the company in obtaining or retaining municipal contracts, including a photo red light enforcement contract with the City of Columbus. Finley also admitted she and her co-conspirators concealed the true nature and source of the payments by the consultant’s submission and the company’s payment of false invoices for “consulting services,” which funds the consultant then provided to the campaigns of the elected public officials.
The case was investigated by the FBI’s Cincinnati Field Office, Columbus Resident Agency, with the assistance of IRS-Criminal Investigations and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Edward P. Sullivan of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Michael Marous of the Southern District of Ohio.