Martin Sandoval, a 56-year-old former Illinois state senator, pleaded guilty in late January 2020 to tax fraud and bribery charges. He has admitted to taking $250,000 in bribes from a local red-light cameral company as well as other individuals and their business interests. As part of the plea agreement, he also admitted to having his accountant underreport his earnings to the Internal Revenue Service from 2012 to 2017.
Sandoval is working closely with authorities as investigators continue to look into the scandal. He said that he approached an employee of SafeSpeed, a red-light traffic camera company. He told them that he would oppose legislation that would ban the cameras from being used and encourage them to be used in more communities. SafeSpeed has denied any wrongdoing in the incident. Sandoval was paid $5,000 a month by the SafeSpeed employee for his assistance. He received more than $70,000 in total from the company.
Along with the bribery charges, Sandoval has agreed to pay the IRS and Illinois Department of Revenue the amount of money owed in taxes from his fraudulent tax reports. He owes the IRS $72,441 and the Illinois Department of Revenue $13,384.38. Authorities were alerted to the alleged crimes as they have investigated several corruption cases that the senator in which the former senator is allegedly tied.
In the state of Illinois, bribery is punishable by up to a decade in prison and tax fraud is punishable by up to three years. Because of the seriousness of these penalties, it’s important that those who are accused of white-collar crimes have legal defense representation. In this case, the information on the case was obtained during a raid on Sandoval’s office. If the proper warrants had not been obtained or items or areas were searched that were not listed on the warrant, the evidence might not be admissible in court.