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Press Release

Local Businessman is Indicted for Bribery Scheme Involving Former County Executive

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Missouri

St. Louis, MO –John Rallo, 53, formerly of St. Louis County, was charged with three counts of Honest Services Mail Fraud/Bribery.  Rallo will appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Bodenhausen for his initial appearance and arraignment on the Indictment – Friday, May 10 at 9:30 a.m., 15th floor South. 

The Indictment charging John Rallo alleges that beginning in October 2014 and continuing through December 31, 2017, Stenger schemed to defraud and deprive the citizens of St. Louis County of their right to his honest and faithful services, and the honest and faithful services of Sheila Sweeney, through bribery and the concealment of material information.  The purpose of the scheme was for Stenger to secretly use his official position to enrich himself through soliciting and accepting campaign contributions from Rallo and other individuals in exchange for favorable official action, and for Rallo and other individuals to enrich themselves and their companies by secretly obtaining favorable action for themselves and for their companies, through corrupt means. 

Specifically, the Indictment alleges that Stenger, in exchange for campaign donations and several fundraising events, took official action to insure that John Rallo and his company, Cardinal Insurance, obtained insurance contracts through St. Louis County during 2015 and 2016.  Further, the Indictment alleges that Stenger took official action to insure that John Rallo and his company, Cardinal Creative Consulting, obtained a sham 2016 consulting contract through the St. Louis County Port Authority.  Additionally, Stenger took official action to insure that John Rallo and his company, Wellston Holdings, LLC, obtained options to purchase two properties in Wellston, Missouri which were held by the Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority of St. Louis County during 2016 and 2017.  The Indictment alleges that Rallo, Stenger, and Sweeney took steps to hide, conceal and cover up the illegal bribery scheme, including making false public statements.   

If convicted, as to each charge Rallo faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.  Restitution is also mandatory. 

In determining the actual sentences, a judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Postal Inspection Service are investigating this case with the assistance of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Hal Goldsmith is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Updated May 10, 2019

Public Corruption