Ann Maher Jun. 22, 2015, 5:57pm


Former Madison County treasurer Fred Bathon will be out of prison on Thursday, one year earlier than his original sentence mandated.

Bathon was sentenced in federal court in December 2013 to 30 months in prison for rigging county tax sales.

There has been no public explanation for Bathon's early release. He had served most of his time at Terre Haute Federal Corrections Institute, a medium security facility in Indiana, until recently when he was released to a St. Louis halfway house.

The record of his case at district court in East St. Louis shows that U. S. Attorney Stephen Wigginton filed a motion under seal last December.

U.S. District Judge David Herndon signed and sealed an order granting the motion.

U.S. attorneys can seek sentence reductions for prisoners who provide substantial assistance to prosecutors carrying out criminal investigations.

In 2013, Bathon admitted that he conspired with bidders to run corrupt auctions of delinquent taxes at the Madison County courthouse from 2005 to 2008.

He favored bidders who contributed to his campaign fund.

Their conspiracy artificially inflated the interest rate on delinquent taxes for most property owners to the legal limit of 18 percent.

Tax buyers John Vassen, Scott McLean and Barrett Rochman also pleaded guilty.

Wigginton has not moved to reduce their sentences.

The Bureau of Prisons website shows a Dec. 12 release for Vassen, July 7 for McLean, and June 27 for Rochman.

More News