AT&T Illinois agrees to pay $23m for bribing former politician
AT&T Illinois has agreed to pay a US$23 million fine after attempting to bribe a politician in the state.
The company admitted that it had arranged to make payments to an associate of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, who is also facing charges for his role in the matter.
Madigan, who was one of the state’s most powerful political figures at the time, was asked to push through legislation that would benefit the operator according to the US attorney’s office in Chicago.
The former politician retired last year but is facing separate charges for his alleged role in a US$3 million racketeering bribery scheme.
According to prosecutors involved with the case, Madigan used his role to further an alleged criminal enterprise.
AT&T has admitted its part in the crime, noting that it had arranged in 2017 for an ally of Madigan to receive payments through a lobbying firm that had done work for the company.
The arrangement was made to “disguise” why the ally, who didn’t work for the company, was being paid according to sources close to the case.
AT&T responded to the charges with a brief statement: “We hold ourselves and our contractors to the highest ethical standards. We are committed to ensuring that this never happens again.”
Prosecutors have suspended their criminal case against the operator for agreeing to pay the fine.