Significant Activity Report: United States v. John Bills
January 27, 2016
On January 26, 2016, following a two week trial, a jury in the Northern District of Illinois found
John Bills, a former assistant transportation commissioner for the City of Chicago, guilty on all
twenty counts twenty counts, including federal corruption and filing false tax returns, for his role
in multi-year kickback scheme perpetrated in connection with the City’s red-light camera
program. United States v. John Bills 14-CR-135 (U.S.D.C. ND IL).
From approximately 2003 to 2011, Bills used his position as a senior official to influence the
procurement process that awarded Redflex Traffic Systems Inc. lucrative contracts to supply and
service cameras for the City’s red-light camera program. Redflex later expanded its business
with the City through a sole source procurement process corruptly facilitated by Bills. In
exchange for his efforts, Redflex provided Bills with cash and personal benefits, including meals,
golf outings, rental cars, airline tickets, hotel rooms and other entertainment. Redflex ultimately
received payments and contracts of over $100 million.
After a two-week trial in federal court in Chicago, the jury returned guilty verdicts on all twenty
counts against Bills, including nine counts of mail fraud; three counts of wire fraud; one count of
extortion under color of official right; one count of conspiracy to commit bribery; three counts of
bribery; and three counts of filing false tax returns.
Bills was indicted in August of 2014. The Office of Inspector General’s staff worked with the
Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service, and United States Attorney for the
Northern District of Illinois to ensure that this government official was held accountable to the
taxpayers. Bills is the third person convicted in connection with the scheme, with guilty pleas
previously having been entered by middleman Martin O’Malley, and by former Redflex CEO
Karen Finley, both of whom testified at trial.
Bills is scheduled to be sentenced before United States District Judge Virginia Kendall on May
5, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. in Room 2319 of the Dirksen Building.