A man who paid thousands of dollars in bribes to two Chicago police officers was sentenced Friday to one year behind bars, but a judge said he won’t have to report to prison until next spring.
U.S. District Judge Charles Norgle handed down the sentence to Richard Burton, who pleaded guilty to a bribery conspiracy in June 2019. He admitted at the time that he paid the two officers, Kevin Tate and Milot Cadichon, at least $10,000 each in exchange for early access to information from traffic crash reports between 2015 and 2017.
Burton ran National Attorney Referral Service, which recruited clients for attorneys and was compensated in exchange for referrals.
Norgle also handed a year in prison to Tate earlier this year. U.S. District Judge Robert Dow sentenced Cadichon in November 2019 to 18 months in prison. Cadichon was released from custody in June, prison records show.
“The idea of bribing police officers is something that cannot be tolerated,” Norgle said Friday. “And there must be a sentence which will serve as a deterrent to others.”
Still, Burton told the judge he is the primary caregiver to his mother, who is in hospice care. That’s why Norgle agreed to push back Burton’s surrender date to May 2022.
Before he was sentenced, Burton told the judge he was sorry for what he did.
“I’m just throwing myself at the mercy of the court, asking that I not go to jail and I continue to provide for, mainly, my mother,” Burton said.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrianna Kastanek argued in a sentencing memo that Burton was “certainly more culpable than the officers: He was a leader of the conspiracy and its originator. And he paid bribes to multiple officers over a measurable period of time.”
Still, the prosecutor acknowledged that Burton went on to cooperate with the government and provide “substantial assistance.” His attorney, Jonathan Bedi, wrote in a separate memo that Burton wore a wire more than 10 times, wore video equipment and even placed phone calls and text messages as part of his cooperation. He also had recording equipment placed in his vehicle.
“He placed himself in physical danger during his cooperation,” Bedi wrote, adding that Burton’s work “led to the arrest and conviction of Chicago police officers.”