Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Could MoCo Bus Fines Go to Paying Off Debt in Dallas Left by Failed Stop-Arm Camera Ticketing Scheme?

If any part of fines from stop-arm camera tickets ends up with the former CEO of Force Multiplier Solutions, Robert C. Leonard, then Montgomery County Public Schools use of this stop-arm camera system could end up with fine money connected to the litigation mentioned in the article below.

Also note this article says the FBI investigation is ongoing as of August 2018.  


To pay off debt left by corrupt school-bus agency Dallas County Schools, officials are suing to recover funds from conspirators who defrauded taxpayers.

...The dissolution committee also filed a civil racketeering lawsuit seeking to recoup taxpayer money that was illegally funneled to corrupt officials and others involved in the conspiracy. Under federal racketeering statutes, plaintiffs can recover triple damages.
“I’m hopeful that we will get some money back,” said Alan King, chief executive officer of the dissolution committee. “The amount of money that they’ve lost is just staggering.”
“It was a conspiracy of a number of defendants and individuals that involved bribes, kickbacks, real estate fees and commissions paid,” added Stephanie Curtis, an attorney for the DCS dissolution committee.
The lawsuit’s targets include former DCS Superintendent Rick Sorrells, former DCS President Larry Duncan, and current Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway, along with Louisiana-based school bus camera company Force Multiplier Solutions and its CEO Robert Leonard. A failed stop-arm camera ticketing scheme hatched by Leonard and then-Superintendent Sorrells back in 2010 precipitated the agency’s financial collapse.
Leonard’s associate Slater Swartwood, Sr. is also named in the suit. He was the first to be indicted on criminal charges in the DCS case, late last year. He pleaded guilty to federal money laundering conspiracy charges and gave federal prosecutors details of the multi-year conspiracy. Swartwood was the middle man who helped funnel millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks from Leonard and Force Multiplier to Sorrells “in return for further agreements and camera-equipment orders.”
Sorrells repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, but once Swartwood confessed, Sorrells admitted he abused his position to swindle taxpayers out of millions of dollars. As superintendent, Sorrells awarded $70 million in contracts to Force Multiplier in exchange for $3 million in bribes and kickbacks. He used the money to fund a lavish lifestyle that featured luxury vacations, expensive sports cars, and fancy jewelry. Sorrells pleaded guiltyin April to wire fraud and is set to be sentenced soon. He faces up to 20 years in prison.
Duncan, who was president of the DCS board when then-Superintendent Sorrells and Leonard launched the stop-arm camera scheme, also denied wrongdoing. From 2012 to 2016, Duncan received nearly $250,000 in campaign contributions from Leonard and others connected with Force Multiplier that coincided with DCS board approvals of agreements with the company. Duncan claims the donations were legitimate, but it’s unclear why Louisiana residents would contribute to the campaign of a Dallas bureaucrat running unopposed. Duncan later gave some of that money to campaigns of other DCS board candidates, including Omar Narvaez, who’s now a Dallas City Council member...

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