Feds charge two men in Oakbrook Terrace red-light camera kickback scheme

James Colucci and Joseph Colucci are accused of giving valuable items, including cash, to Tony Ragucci, then the mayor of Oakbrook Terrace.

SHARE Feds charge two men in Oakbrook Terrace red-light camera kickback scheme
Dirksen Federal Courthouse.

Federal charges have been filed against two men in a kickback scheme involving a red-light camera in Oakbrook Terrace.

Sun-Times file

Two men have been charged over their alleged roles in a kickback scheme that provided thousands of dollars in cash payments to the then-mayor of Oakbrook Terrace after the western suburb renewed a contract with the red-light camera company SafeSpeed.

James Colucci and Joseph Colucci are accused of serving as the conduit to deliver valuable items, including cash, to Tony Ragucci, when he was mayor of Oakbrook Terrace. In return, Ragucci, among other favors, signed a one-year renewal agreement with SafeSpeed, according to the 10-page federal indictment.

The fraud scheme began sometime in 2016 and ended in the fall of 2019, according to the indictment. James Colucci and Joseph Colucci both began making cash payments to Ragucci beginning in 2018 based on revenue generated from SafeSpeed’s red-light cameras in Oakbrook Terrace.

None of the payments to Ragucci from the Coluccis were reported by Ragucci to the DuPage County Clerk’s Office, in order to evade detection of the scheme, according to the indictment.

A spokesperson for the city of Oakbrook Terrace didn’t respond to questions regarding this recent indictment but said the Illinois Department of Transportation has revoked its highway permit for the red-light camera at Illinois Route 83 and 22nd Street.

The Coluccis’ arraignments had not been scheduled as of Friday night, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney said.

The two men are the latest charged in connection with red-light cameras in the Chicago area.

Ragucci was charged last month and is accused of taking thousands of dollars in secret payments. Agents had previously seized $60,000 in cash from Ragucci’s west suburban home in 2019.

Omar Maani, a onetime SafeSpeed partner, was charged in 2020 with a bribery conspiracy but agreed to work with the feds under a deferred-prosecution agreement.

Crestwood Mayor Louis Presta resigned last year over his dealings with SafeSpeed. He had served as mayor of the southwestern suburb for nearly a decade. He pleaded guilty in November to the red-light bribery scheme. Former state Sen. Martin Sandoval also pleaded guilty to taking a “protector fee” from someone with an interest in the company.

The Latest
Arley Carrillo Mendez, 39, is charged with one felony count of child abduction and luring of a minor after he followed a girl Monday afternoon in the 5000 block of South Long Avenue.
The traditional TV broadcasts will be heavy on the Bears, who own the first and ninth picks of the first round. They’ll be on the clock at 7 p.m.
Does the USC quarterback have the “it” factor that makes everyone around him better and tilts the field in his favor in crunch time? There’s no doubt Poles sees something special in Williams.
The video is the first proof of life of Hersh Goldberg-Polin, who was captured Oct. 7 in southern Israel. His parents have Chicago ties. Last week, his mother was named one of Time magazine’s most influential people of 2024.