8/18/2020Second Illinois Senate Speed Camera Champion Busted For Fraud
Illinois state Senator Terry Link, champion of speed cameras, is charged with tax fraud.
Another Illinois state senator with ties to the photo enforcement industry faces federal charges. Senator Terrance P. Link (D-Vernon Hills), a member of the state Legislative Ethics Committee, was charged last week with tax fraud. In 2009, Link introduced a bill allowing the installation of speed cameras. Governor Pat Quinn (D) signed the Chicago speed camera bill three years later.
The US attorney for the Northern District of Illinois did not charge Link with accepting any bribes related to photo enforcement. Instead, he faces a single count of fraud for reporting just $264,450 as his income in 2016.
"Defendant knew that the total income [he earned] substantially exceeded that amount," assistant US attorney Amarjeet S. Bhachu wrote.
In cases like this, that charge is usually leveled against someone known to have profited from criminal activity, and it carries a sentence of up to three years in prison. The lack of any other charges could possibly be a reward for his willingness to work with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Link is widely believed to be turning evidence against his colleagues. Although Link denies doing so, he fits the description of "Cooperating Witness 1" in at least two cases filed against state senators. That witness, whoever he turns out to be, wore a wire to record state Senator Martin Sandoval (D-Cicero) accepting cash bribes offered in the name of Safespeed, the red light camera operator with strong connections to Illinois politicians. Sandoval has admitted his guilt in the scandal.
Link joins Crestwood, Illinois, mayor Louis Presta, who was also charged with cheating on his taxes in addition to taking red light camera bribes from Safespeed. Presta entered a not guilty plea.
Scandals are nothing new to the photo ticketing industry. Nearly twenty individuals have been convicted or charged with felonies related to photo ticketing in the United States (view full list). The scandals, however, extend to countries using automated ticketing machines around the globe (view the red light camera and speed camera CrimeLine).