Shame on CameraFRAUD?

April 1, 2011

—It has been brought to our attention that allegations have surfaced regarding a founder of CameraFRAUD allegedly evading police on a high-speed chase last evening. We’ll have a complete statement later on today regarding what law enforcement is claiming. We have reproduced the “official story” below—


Office of Information Awareness

AP – Southwest
3/31/2011

Late Thursday evening, authorities responded to a Redflex ‘automatic license plate recognition’ (ALPR) alert regarding a suspicious vehicle traveling northbound on a major Phoenix freeway.

Information provided by Homeland Security’s Internal Compliance Squad (DHS-ICS) alerted ground units that a late-model Mazda was being driven by a watchlist suspect, believed to be CameraFRAUD co-founder Shaww Duel.

VIDEO OF CHASE (Youtube)

When ICS Police attempted to stop the driver, officers claim the vehicle sped towards them and repeatedly rammed their new federally-funded “patrol & pursuit” Subarus.

Sadly, one of the officer’s vehicles rolled over during the chase, but no injuries were reported.

Blowing through camera zones at speeds exceeding 149 miles per hour, the suspect’s elusive driving poses a threat to the illusion of photo enforcement being effective at stopping traffic violations (even in video games).

###

National Surveillance Association (NSA) was created in 2011 as an ambitious public-private partnership, providing sensitive personal information to the government on demand in real-time. Members include Redflex Group, American Traffic Solutions, NLETS, as well as all of your local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.

Internal Compliance Squad (ICS) is an elite internal paramilitary division of the Department of Homeland Security. Agents spend years screening passengers for non-existent threats at airports before being promoted to ICS. Want a challenge? ICS agents enjoy a “level two” starting salary of $26,400. Join the faSStest-growing industry in America! Search for openings at htp://www.jobs.gov.


Bombshell: ‘Countless’ Served Tickets May Be Invalid

September 17, 2010

CameraFRAUD Demands FBI Investigation
Media Inquiries: media@camerafraud.com

Attorney and CameraFRAUD member Michael Kielsky has uncovered potentially damning information regarding photo enforcement process service within Arizona.

The revelation? Widespread, illegal certificates of service, admittedly completed by office workers instead of the actual server.

Developing…

Just got back from court with another Photo Radar case win — but how I won “shocked” even me.

The case was set for a process server hearing, and the process server was there, seemed to remember the service, and otherwise was a credible witness, leaving me little room to challenge the service.

I then asked if he had notes from the day of service, which he confirmed, and I asked if I could see them. I compared his notes to the certificate of service, and saw that some of the demographic specifics were off (the height was 5″ off, the age was specific instead of the range in the notes, the weight was off by 5 lbs.).

I then asked him about the differences (in that, more than anything else, the height seemed significant).

Bombshell alert:

He answered that he sends his notes in to the process service office, and then someone there fills out the certificate of service with all the details, and adds a digitized image of his signature, and the files it.

My jaw hit the desk. I asked him to confirm that the certificate was completed from his notes, and that he did not review it before it was signed, under penalty of perjury, with his digitized signature, and he confirmed, and said that’s the way they always do it, in 10′s of thousands of cases.

I argued to the judge that I had no issue with the digitized signature, but that the certificate of service was void, as it was completed and signed without his review, and it did not accurately reflect his own notes regarding the service.

The judge questioned the process server some more about this process, and, among other things, he admitted, that, well yes, for eviction service, that’s not how they do it, but for photo radar they do.

Case dismissed.

UPDATE: The FBI is the agency assigned to investigate public and judicial fraud. Their contact information is as follows. We encourage any reader who feels they may be a victim of false service to immediately file a report.

Federal Bureau of Investigation
Special Agent Nathan T. Gray
201 East Indianola Avenue Phoenix, AZ 85012
Phone: (602) 279-5511
Fax: (602) 650-3204
E-mail: phoenix@ic.fbi.gov


Photo Unit Cop Caught Forging Documents

September 6, 2010

Geoffrey Jacobs (Photo: New Times)

A former officer with the Arizona Department of Public Safety’s now-defunct Redflex “photo enforcement unit” was allegedly caught forging documents and using “state” resources — a DPS airplane — to stalk an ex girlfriend.

According to AZCentral, “[Geoffrey] Jacobs wrote a fake obituary regarding another ex-girlfriend and sent it to Hawaiian Airlines, along with a letter detailing how Jacobs was trying to cope with the “huge loss” of his fiancee. The letter was sent so Jacobs could transfer his ex-girlfriend’s ticket to another woman…”

If this officer was corrupt enough to forge documents for an airline ticket change, did any of the members of the public stand a chance when their citations were in his hands?

But wait, there’s more… This one’s for the “if you’re not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about” crowd:

He also was found to have abused DPS resources when he flew a state-owned plane over the neighborhood where he believed an ex-girlfriend lived in an attempt to locate her new home.
And who better to help run the accident-increasing photo enforcement scheme than an officer who had great first-hand experience causing accidents:
Jacobs joined DPS in late 2002. Less than one year later, he was served with his first letter of reprimand for an October 2003 wreck in Tucson. The next year, Jacobs was in another wreck and lost eight hours of vacation pay.

Jacobs, according to the New Times, “was the trooper who arrested Republican Party Executive Director Brett Mecum in May 2009 for criminal speeding. “

Now Jacobs is redefining irony, by suing the state over his dismissal. His claim? “…Defamation and violation of privacy and constitutional rights. “

Perhaps one would be more compassionate for the troubled cop if he didn’t work in a police unit that defamed and violated privacy and constitutional rights on an automated level.

With forgery, stalker-like surveillance, and dangerous driving supposedly under his belt, he would fit in well with the corporate criminal culture at Redflex Group.

(Should a full investigation into this officer’s role in the photo enforcement unit be conducted by AZDPS? Sound off in the comments section)

“Photo Enforcement” Becomes Toxic

August 24, 2010

What do you do when your industry approaches market saturation and increased public opposition?

This is the question the peddlers of automated ticketing will have to start asking themselves in the immediate future if they hope to survive in any form whatsoever.

Almost all large United States cities have been approached by either Redflex or American Traffic Solutions pitching the tired, debunked claims of improved traffic safety.

Unfortunately for these companies, voters and drivers have awakened to the scheme and are opposing new and existing systems worldwide over a variety of reasons, from civil liberties concerns to the proper role of government.

Smaller and smaller communities are being being swindled into signing contracts with these corporations, resulting in millions of dollars being extracted from local economies and sent directly to the profiteering vendors.

The blowback to such installations has ranged from expected opposition to cold-blooded murder. Last week, the confessed shooter of a Redflex photo radar van driver in Arizona was sentenced to 22 years in prison.

Unclear is the liability the State of Arizona will face for their “romp in the bed” with corporatism in the form of photo enforcement. Redflex was contractually obligated to provide “public service announcements” to explain automated ticketing to the public when the statewide ticketing contract was signed with the Department of Public Safety.

DPS is now being sued by the surviving family, and rightfully so. It doesn’t take an overpaid government beancounter to figure out that placing an unarmed civilian in a vehicle falsely marked as law enforcement is a bad idea.

With an onslaught of bad publicity, automated ticketing vendors may remember 2010 as the year their business model went sour. Lawsuits demanding refunds plague Redflex in Minnesota to the tune of millions of dollars while increased legal challenges in Florida and California threaten the very existence of red light cameras and so-called speed enforcement.

The Cameras are Coming Down… but in the end it may be due to the fatally flawed business model based on greed and inconclusive results that ATS and Redflex have depended on for over a decade.


ATS Van Caught Speeding, Failing to Signal

August 16, 2010

American Traffic Solutions or Above The Statutes, Inc?

An American Traffic Solutions / City of Mesa “photo enforcement” vehicle was caught red handed early Saturday afternoon breaking various traffic laws.

The incident occurred early Saturday afternoon on westbound US-60 in Mesa, Arizona near exit 181. A CameraFRAUD volunteer witnessed and recorded the incident.

The white Chevrolet Uplander was observed exceeding the posted speed limit on the US-60 and failing to signal a right-hand turn onto north Stapley Dr.

CameraFRAUD Tyranny Response Unit issues "Notice of Violation" to American Traffic Solutions

CameraFRAUD has collected details about the “tali-van” scofflaw, and in a twist of roles, will issue a “Notice of Violation” to American Traffic Solutions on Monday.

Much like the millions of notices the Scottsdale-based company issues each year, the violator will be given the option of paying an arbitrary “fine” or attending a hearing.

An “Assessed Donation” in the amount of $5,000 made payable to the Children’s Cancer and Blood Foundation by American Traffic Solutions is requested by CameraFRAUD to cure the violation and the flagrant disregard for the law exhibited by the photo radar van driver. (Disclosure: We are not affiliated with CCBF, nor are they a sponsor or part of our request).

Automated ticketing vendors have a long history of breaking various statutes and flaunting the law when it suites their needs. In September of 2008, a Redflex van driver was arrested for DUI while driving from Scottsdale to Tempe to set up the vehicle.

In September of 2009, another Redflex driver was caught on tape in north Phoenix driving recklessly in the fully-marked faux-DPS Ford Escape.

In addition, numerous high-ranking executives of both ATS and Redflex have ignored their own tickets in a blatant example of do-as-we-say-not-as-we-do.

ATS has never been shy invoking “the children” as a reason for the usage of automated ticketing. Now that they’ve been caught (again), it’s time for them to put their money where their mouth is and make a donation to a worthy, independent cause.

We eagerly await a response from American Traffic Solutions and will keep you posted with what happens.


ATS Accuses Woman, 84 of Motorcycle Speeding

August 3, 2010

American Traffic Solutions scameras in Bluff City, TN accused an 84-year old woman from Lexington of speeding at midnight on a motorcycle late last month:

“I thought maybe I ought to send them the money and not worry about it, and that’s the last thing you should do.“

The victim thought upon receipt of the “notice of violation” that the ticket was a scam (and rightfully so) and got the matter resolved only after involving the local media.

Other ATS and Redflex FAILs this week include:

Changes bring DeLand red-light cameras to rolling stop
Officials will have to re-evaluate whether to pursue the use of red-light cameras now that… a new state law would take a big chunk of local ticket revenue.

Firm doubles Palm Coast’s fees
Here’s something to make Palm Coast officials see red: The company that runs its traffic light camera system is asking to more than double what it currently charges the city.

Seeing red over camera contract
A CITIZENS’ revolt against red light cameras in New Orleans has led to claims a Victorian company agreed to pay a share of the fines to a former city councillor if it won a contract.

Red light photo enforcement is no longer active in Yucaipa
“The program was not very productive in terms of paying for itself,” Hemsley said. The city anticipated a revenue of approximately $140,000, but has only collected $27,500. Since it is the court collection system that has resulted in lack of revenue, Hemsley said the Redflex and the city could not find a good solution or alternative to canceling the contract. “After negotiations with Redflex, we agreed to pay the balance due of $198,000 and terminate the agreement.”

Town’s Automated Traffic Enforcement Approaches One Ticket Per Citizen
Tennessee town of 17,000 has issued over 7,300 traffic tickets in half year since adopting system


Cops Go Ballistic Over Camera Dissent

July 10, 2010

Police were "hopping mad" as they attempted to remove a state-of-the-art revenue suppression device -a sombrero- from a scam cam

A giant sombrero placed over a Redflex ticketing machine in Paradise Valley, Arizona was stomped on and destroyed by town police officers before being placed in the back seat of a cruiser.

CameraFRAUD volunteers had gathered at the “scamera” location in the upscale Phoenix suburb late last month to assist a production crew from Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” in obtaining footage and interviews regarding two controversial Arizona policies: photo enforcement and SB1070.

According to witnesses, PV Ofc. Steven Chavira arrived on the scene and immediately demanded the production crew cease filming, using his hands and body in an attempt to obstruct the crew’s cameras, apparently unaware of the irony of his actions.

According to TheNewspaper.com, “Chavira… then jumped several times in vain attempts to reach the giant hat that rested on the camera head just beyond his reach. After using a stick, Chavira and a second officer were able to knock off the sombrero, which he stomped on several times before taking it into custody in his patrol car.”

Did the officers act inappropriately? While covering or blocking a ticketing camera isn’t known to violate any local or state law, the officers actions appear to be unprofessional: the immigration debate is a hot topic; sworn law officers stomping on something racially symbolic is a public relations fiasco in the making.

Furthermore, destruction of evidence is a serious crime, and would be applicable if the town had decided to attempt to maliciously pursue the individuals responsible for the placement of the sombrero.

(Media Inquiries: media@camerafraud.com)


Kansas City Robbery Botched

October 30, 2009

radar robbery

Artists's rendition of a recent 1.7 million dollar heist. Suspects may be armed and up for re-election.

Stupid Criminals – Municipal authorities in Kansas City, MO have failed at a recent robbery attempt.

The city officials used red light cameras to extort over 1.7 million dollars out of their constituent’s pockets. The cost to install the cameras? 1.7 million dollars.

“The city expected more revenue,” said KMBC reporter Micheal Mahoney. “The program that was designed to make money for the city may end up costing [them] money.”

Proving there’s no honor among thieves, scam cam vendor American Traffic Solutions has pocketed most of the dough:

The city budget director, Troy Schulte, said that most of the income from the fines are going to the vendor, American Traffic Solutions.

No charges have been filed against Kansas City by Kansas City in the failed robbery, although over 3,000 people have decided to fight back by requesting a hearing. The unexpected battle took the attackers off-guard:

There are 3,000 cases waiting to be heard at the (Kansas City) Municipal Court, which means the (Kansas City) police need overtime workers to re-examine the red-light pictures.

Other recent failed ticketing robberies include beleaguered Redflex Group’s statewide Arizona effort.


Happy Birthday Photo Radar: DPS May Cut 350

October 13, 2009

Roger and Karen

DPS Director Roger Vanderpool seen mingling with Redflex's Karen Finley. Cops be damned: To these people, its all about the cash and cameras

Who didn’t see this one coming?

Arizona Department of Public Safety politicos outsourced their officer’s duties to an illegitimate, foreign-owned corporation on an unprecedented scale. When Redflex was granted the authority to take the department’s insignia and vehicle dress and apply it to photo radar vans, protecting life and property suddenly took a back seat to shareholder profit.

PHOENIX — Budget cuts could leave as many as 350 Arizona Department of Public Safety employees out of work, according to the DPS officers’ union.According to the union, the budget proposal sent to Gov. Jan Brewer calls for 250 rank-and-file patrol officers to be laid off.An additional 100 civilian support jobs would be eliminated, the union said.When asked for comment about the 15 percent reduction in budget, DPS declined.

DPS Dir. Roger Vanderpool, a strong supporter of photo radar and a Janet Napolitano appointee, probably won’t survive this fiasco at the agency: his contract is up in February.

Don’t worry, Rog: Redflex has a history of hiring former top cops.


Redflex Photo Van Caught Violating State Law

October 10, 2009

City of Tempe Police read a measuring wheel to determine photo radar sign distances on 10/9/2009.

City of Tempe Police read a measuring wheel to determine photo radar sign distances on 10/9/2009.

Tempe Police were called mid-Friday after CameraFRAUD activists observed a “photo radar” van breaking the law.

The van, owned and operated by beleaguered Redflex Group, often surveils drivers eastbound on Elliot Road near the Loop 101.

CameraFRAUD activists measured out the spacing of the signs to determine they were not in compliance with the law, which specifies the warning sign closest to the photo radar van be must be placed “approximately 300 feet” away:

At least two signs shall be placed in a location before a photo enforcement system. One sign shall be in a location that is approximately three hundred feet before the photo enforcement system.

Tempe Police confirmed the sign was posted at 743ft, and the van was removed from operational status pending the investigation. In addition, both of the warning signs appeared to be placed deliberately behind trees and shrubs, preventing proper notification to oncoming traffic as required.

Despite the clear violation of the law, no immediate citation was issued by Tempe Police to the Australian company. The fate of any “notices of violation” generated by the van while it operated outside of the law (more than usual) remains unclear, with the expectation that the burden of “guilty until proven innocent” applies even in the event of municipal and vendor error.


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