A pair of businessmen from Madison County will be joining former county treasurer Fred Bathon in federal prison for their roles in a tax-rigging scheme. O’Fallon attorney John Vassen and Belleville businessman Scott McLean both entered guilty pleas for their roles in the scheme last month and were sentenced Wednesday in East St. Louis. U.S. District Judge David Herndon handed down a two-year sentence against Vassen and ordered McLean to serve 18 months behind bars for his role in the scheme.
Bathon began serving his 30-month sentence for rigging the bidding on delinquent property tax liens from 2005-2009 in exchange for campaign donations last month. The three are said to have structured tax sales in a way that eliminated competitive bidding and allowed the tax buyers to engage in price fixing. As a result of their actions, more than 7-thousand parcels of land in the county were affected, leading to about $17-million in back taxes.
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