Thursday, December 8, 2022

AT&T Settles Criminal Bribery Case as Former Executive Indicted


AT&T Inc. agreed to pay $23 million to resolve a criminal investigation in which a former executive was charged with paying bribes to longtime Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.

Under a non-prosecution agreement filed in a Chicago federal court Friday, AT&T Illinois admitted it arranged in 2017 for an ally of Madigan to indirectly receive $22,500 in payments from the company in exchange for supporting a bill it favored. Madigan, a Democrat, served as speaker for nearly 40 years before stepping down last year.

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Prosecutors on Friday also unsealed an indictment against Paul La Schiazza, former president of AT&T Illinois. Prosecutors said in a statement that La Schiazza, 65, conspired with Madigan and the speaker’s close friend, Michael McClain, to arrange the payment.

Madigan, 80, who has denied wrongdoing, was indicted in March on racketeering and bribery charges. McClain was indicted in 2020 and has also denied wrongdoing

“We hold ourselves and our contractors to the highest ethical standards,” AT&T said in a statement. “We are committed to ensuring that this never happens again.”

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The cases are USA v. Illinois Bell Telephone, 22-cr-525, US District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago); and USA v. Paul La Schiazza, 22-cr-520, US District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago).


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