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Judge to unseal more records in Reditus cases, as attorneys reach deal to sell $6.5 million private plane

Reditus Laboratories said it has invested more than $15 million into its new facility in Pekin and has grown to more than 300 employees.
Eric Stock
/
WGLT file
Reditus Laboratories, based in Pekin, at one time had more than 300 employees. It grew rapidly during the pandemic.

A Tazewell County judge moved Tuesday to bring more of the civil litigation involving Reditus Labs into public view, unsealing more records that may shed light on the unraveling of a company that won hundreds of millions of dollars in state COVID-19 testing contracts.

Judge Stephen Kouri said he would unseal more documents in several civil cases involving Reditus and former CEO Aaron Rossi. That includes essentially all filings that did not originate from Rossi’s side of the dispute. One of the documents that will remain under seal is a motion to stay, or pause, the civil case filed last year; a related document inadvertently unsealed in December revealed an ongoing federal investigation into Reditus’ billing and contracting practices.

Rossi’s attorney, Micah Marcus, sought to keep several documents under seal, with some success. He suggested some of the plaintiffs who’ve sued Rossi were attempting to try the case in the court of public opinion. Peter Lubin, an attorney for one of those plaintiffs, said it was a last-ditch attempt to conceal documents that would reveal Rossi’s alleged misconduct while running Reditus.

Kouri responded to Marcus: “Isn’t that the price we pay for having a public proceeding?”

Among the documents that will soon come into public view is the final report from the receiver appointed to oversee Reditus last spring. That should be completed in about two weeks.

WGLT, WCBU, and other central Illinois media outlets previously filed to intervene in the case, hoping to get more documents released into public view.

Meanwhile, attorneys in the case said Tuesday they’ve reached an agreement to sell off a private plane and 61 vehicles owned by Reditus. The vehicles are no longer needed, as company went out of business in November. The receiver is now winding up its affairs and says the company has “no sound business reason” to own a private aircraft. The plane costs about $46,000 to store and maintain each month, not including fuel costs.

The receiver says the private plane (a 1987 Dassault Falcon 900B) could fetch $6.5 million when it’s sold off.

The status of a second private plane tied to Rossi – as WGLT reported last spring – is unclear.

Attorneys also said they’ve reached a deal to sell those 61 vehicles, which range from low-value cars and trucks to high-value vehicles, court documents show.

Proceeds from the sale will be held until the judge decides where they will go.

Pekin-based Reditus made hundreds of millions of dollars from state contracts for COVID testing and brought hundreds of jobs to Pekin. Reditus had testing contracts with the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois Department of Corrections, WGLT previously reported. It ran the COVID testing site at Bloomington’s Interstate Center for much of the pandemic.

Rossi’s former business partners have accused him of looting the company to fund his own lavish lifestyle. Rossi also faces federal criminal charges of tax and mail fraud. He has pleaded not guilty and that case remains pending. One of his former spokespeople said there was a “coordinated effort underway to destroy (Rossi’s) reputation” centered on “baseless claims.”

Ryan Denham is the digital content director for WGLT.