The Philadelphia Inquirer tells the story of a flawed sting operation run by Tyron Ali, 40, ensnaring public officials. Ali “fawned over state legislators, empathized with their problems, and bought them lunches, dinners, and gifts.” He also plied them with money – white envelopes stuffed with cash or money orders. While Ali made payment after payment between late 2010 and early 2012 as an undercover operative for the state Attorney General’s Office, prosecutors documented nearly every move he made. Attorney General Kathleen Kane shut down the sting, saying it would not withstand a trial.
Before he won over his network of public officials, perhaps the most important deal Ali struck was the one he fashioned for himself. In exchange for Ali’s cooperation, prosecutors agreed to drop all charges against him in a massive fraud case. In an arrangement Attorney General Kane denounced as “the deal of the century,” Ali walked free on 2,088 counts in a $430,000 fraud case. “According to [Ali] he has access to several political figures and elected officials in Philadelphia and provided information of past and present criminal activity in regards to those individuals,” reads a summary of the Ali tapes obtained by The Inquirer.