John Rallo

KMOX/Brian Kelly

Businessman John Rallo connected to ex-St. Louis County leader pleads guilty

John Rallo could face up to 20 years behind bars, but will likely receive less.

July 16, 2019 - 1:47 pm

ST. LOUIS (KMOX/AP) — A businessman accused of bribery as part of former St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger’s pay-to-play scheme pleaded guilty to three charges Tuesday afternoon.

John Rallo faces up to 20 years in prison when sentenced in October. Based on federal sentencing guidelines mentioned by the judge, however, Rallo likely will only receive 21 to 27 months behind bars. The judge will make the final call, KMOX's Brian Kelly reported from the courthouse. Rallo left without comment.

You can read the full plea document, here: 

17-page plea document for John Rallo by EntercomSTL on Scribd

Rallo was indicted for bribery days after Stenger, a Democrat, pleaded guilty on May 3 to federal charges for directing county contracts to campaign donors. The indictment cited businesses operated by Rallo.

Stenger’s former chief of staff and the woman he appointed to head the county’s economic development partnership also have pleaded guilty in connection with the case. Stenger is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 9.

RELATED: Sheila Sweeney to plead guilty in Stenger pay-to-play scheme

The U.S. Attorney is now going after Sheila Sweeney, who allegedly carried out Stenger's demands at the Economic Development Partnership. She's expected to plead guilty. Her hearing is at 3:30 this afternoon.

RELATED: Steve Stenger pleads guilty, no further prosecution per plea deal

The initial indictment against Stenger alleges that the former County Exectutive accepted campaign contributions from individuals and their companies in exchange for favorable official action, such as for individuals and their companies to enrich themselves and their companies by secretly obtaining favorable action for themselves and for their companies, through corrupt means. 

Some of the specific examples include Stenger took official action to insure that two companies owned by Rallo, Cardinal Creative Consulting and Wellston Holdings, LLC, obtained a 2016 consulting contract through the St. Louis County Port Authority, 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.

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