ST. LOUIS – A St. Louis County businessman who made deals with former St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger is expected to enter a guilty plea on Tuesday.
According to the US Attorney’s Office of Eastern District of Missouri, John Rallo plans to enter a guilty plea in court at 1 p.m. on Tuesday.
Rallo is accused of defrauding six investors out of more than $1 million. Five of the investors are from the St. Louis area, and one is from Utah.
The cease-and-desist order alleges that Rallo, 53, sought investors in Food for Health International LLC, a company he said would sell coconut powder to Costco and Sam's Club as a sweetener and for use in food products. The state claims that Rallo largely used the investments for his other businesses.
The state said the individual investments ranged from $83,000 to $400,000.
The order seeks restitution of $1.36 million, which includes interest and fines.
Stenger admitted in his guilty plea that he took actions to ensure that county contracts went to two Rallo-owned companies — Cardinal Insurance and Cardinal Creative Consulting; and to ensure that another Rallo company obtained options to buy two properties that were held by the county's Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority.
Stenger also took action to ensure that an unnamed company obtained a state lobbying contract from the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, an agency headed by Sweeney, a Stanger appointee.
The bribery indictment against Rallo claimed he gave Stenger tens of thousands of dollars in donations in the understanding that his companies would get contracts.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.