Mayor of Crestwood indicted in red-light camera bribery scheme

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CHICAGO – The mayor of Crestwood has been indicted by a federal grand jury for his alleged involvement in a red-light camera bribery scheme.

Louis Presta, 69, of Crestwood, is charged with three counts of using a facility in interstate commerce in aid of bribery and official misconduct, two counts of willfully filing a false income tax return, one count of willfully failing to file an income tax return, and one count of making false statements to the FBI and IRS.

Authorities believe he used an interstate facility to aid in bribery and lied to law enforcement about his receipt of benefits from a representative of a red-light camera company.

The red-light camera company, later identified as SafeSpeed, provided camera services to Crestwood that enabled the municipality to issue tickets to motorists for certain traffic violations, according to the indictment.

During that time and while the company was attempting to provide additional such services to Crestwood, Presta allegedly asked for and accepted benefits from representatives of the company.

The false statement charge pertains to Presta’s September 2019 interview with the FBI and IRS, during which Presta denied receiving gifts, cash, or campaign contributions from the red-light camera company.

When shown a recording of a March 7, 2018, meeting at which Presta allegedly accepted from the company representative an envelope containing $5,000 in cash, Presta falsely stated that there was no money in the envelope, the indictment states.

The tax charges in the indictment accuse Presta of willfully filing a false income tax return for the calendar years 2015 and 2018, and willfully failing to file an income tax return for the calendar year 2014.

SafeSpeed issued the following statement Friday night.

SafeSpeed does not condone the conduct alleged in the indictment against Crestwood Mayor Louis Presta. There is no place for that conduct by public officials, or people who operate in the red-light camera industry.

 SafeSpeed certainly does not tolerate this behavior. The company holds its employees and representatives to high standards of conduct and ethics. SafeSpeed will continue to take the appropriate action to ensure these standards are followed.

We continue to fully support the federal government in its investigation of this matter.

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