ST. LOUIS – A former inspector with the Missouri State Highway Patrol admitted Tuesday in federal court to accepting thousands of dollars in cash bribes over false vehicle certifications.
Prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri said Larry Conrad, 67, worked as a supervisor motor vehicle inspector for the MSHP. It was Conrad’s job to perform inspections at the patrol’s Troop C facility in south St. Louis County.
The inspections do not require a fee. If the vehicle passes, an inspector signs off on it and certifies forms, so owners can apply for a title with the state.
However, Conrad would accept bribes ranging from $40 to $160 in cash to pass vehicles and lie on certificates to say vehicles had no damage. He’d do this whether he saw the vehicle or not. In one case, at least one car was not drivable.
Conrad netted more than $14,000 as part of his scheme, prosecutors said. He’d text vehicle owners and tell them to leave the bribes in the driver’s side door pocket.
Conrad pleaded guilty to one count of using a facility in interstate commerce, a cell phone, to facilitate his bribery scheme.
Conrad will be sentenced on July 27. He faces up to five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.