© 2024 WGLT
A public service of Illinois State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Rossi ordered to wear GPS bracelet, follow curfew after agreeing government could prove his meth usage

A gavel rests on a judge's bench in a blurry courtroom. The text "WCBU Courts" sits on top of that photo.

Former Reditus Labs CEO Aaron Rossi remains free on bond before his federal tax fraud trial, but he must now wear a GPS monitoring bracelet and follow a curfew.

This comes after an agreement between his legal team and the government that it could be proven he tested positive for meth on five separate occasions during his pretrial release in 2022. That was a violation of a condition that he not use narcotics while out on bond.

Edward McNally, an attorney for Rossi, argued that because his client had remained clean since Chief U.S. Judge Sara Darrow issued a "wake-up call" to him on Oct. 17 after he tested positive for THC, his bond conditions should remain unchanged.

Since then, Rossi has worn a "sweat patch" that acts as a continual monitor of any drug usage. That replaced a regiment of random drug testing he previously followed.

"This court issued a message. That message hit home. It was received and acted upon," said McNally.

But Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas McMeyer said otherwise.

"He's only able to comply (with the terms of release) with the metaphorical Sword of Damocles over his head," McMeyer said.

The prosecutor noted Rossi can't be sent to rehabilitation because he refuses to admit he used drugs, and the sweat patch isn't infallible.

"There is nothing that can be done less than placing him on GPS with an ankle monitor and a curfew," he said, noting prosecutors believe it was the only alternative to incarceration before his trial.

Prosecutors alleged back in August that Rossi had violated the terms of his release by testing positive for meth usage on July 6. But his bond was continued at the time, to allow him time to gather evidence to fight the allegation.

McNally said that his client should "arguably get an A++" for obeying the terms of his bond after the sweat patch was applied in October. He said continuing the current bond terms would send a message of "positive reinforcement" for courts sending wake-up calls instead of harsher measures.

But Darrow said the new evidence changes things.

"Now that we know he used methamphetamine despite his earlier position, there are no hypothetical concerns," she said. "It's real now."

The judge said she'd be concerned about the message she would send if she didn't impose tighter restrictions on Rossi in light of new information.

She set a curfew prohibiting him from leaving home between 10 p.m. and 6 p.m. and asked a probation officer to fit Rossi with a GPS monitoring bracelet before he left the courthouse.

Hearing on alleged federal document misusage set

Federal prosecutors also allege that Rossi improperly entered confidential pretrial discovery materials in his tax fraud case as evidence in his unrelated Tazewell County civil cases with his former business partners.

Tazewell County Judge Stephen Kouri was preparing to unseal many of the documents in that case because Reditus Laboratories is no longer in business.

McMeyer told Darrow that the government can't bring a motion for contempt until the full extent of the breach is known.

Rossi is next scheduled to appear in court on March 23 for another hearing. His March trial date was postponed, with no future date currently set.

Rossi's legal team say a "taint team" from the U.S. Department of Justice will be needed to sort through and filter out protected documents. That process is expected to take ninety to 120 days.

Tim is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.