State Rep. Talibdin "T.D." El-Amin (D-North St. Louis) pleaded guilty to bribery charges today in federal court.
According to court documents, and statements made in court by Assistant United States Attorney Hal Goldsmith, during March 2009, El-Amin solicited a cash bribe from a local businessman, referred to as John Doe, who had approached El-Amin for help in dealing with St. Louis city officials relative to the operations of his gasoline station located within El-Amin's 57th district.
During May, 2009, El-Amin took a bribe consisting of several cash payments totaling $2,100 from John Doe in exchange for promises to intervene on John Doe's behalf with St. Louis city officials, including a city department head.
The cash payments were made to El-Amin by John Doe at El-Amin's office on Union Boulevard in North St. Louis. The payments included $500 on May 1, 2009; $600 on May 8; 2009; $500 on May 15, 2009; and $500 on May 21, 2009. El-Amin solicited an additional $500 cash for himself, as well as $1000 cash purportedly to be paid as a bribe to a city department head.
Talibdin El-Amin, 38, of St. Louis, pleaded guilty to one felony count of soliciting and accepting a bribe. He appeared before United States District Judge Henry Autrey.
At the time of the plea, Acting United States Attorney Michael W. Reap stated:
"We cannot stress enough the importance of citizens coming forward with information concerning the illegal conduct of our elected officials so that proper investigations can be conducted and, where appropriate, those elected officials who have violated our laws can be prosecuted. This case is a shining example of how the system can work when a concerned citizen does the right thing and comes forward to law enforcement with information. These types of cases cannot be prosecuted without citizens coming forth. Our elected officials owe the public their honest services, and when they violate that trust, and break the law, we will take all steps necessary to bring them to justice."
"Government officials and government services are not for sale," added John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in St. Louis. "The FBI's #1 priority, when it comes to fighting crime, is to make sure our government provides honest services to its citizens."
El-Amin now faces a maximum penalty of 10 years and/or fines up to $250,000 when he is sentenced on December 14.
Reap commended the work on the case by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Assistant United States Attorney Hal Goldsmith, who is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney's office.