The federal grand jury on Thursday returned a 34-point indictment against Los Angeles City Council member Jose Huizar, alleging he accepted bribes, concealed income, evaded taxes and lied to investigators.
Huizar, 61, is accused of agreeing to 1.5 million. The dollar is an “illegal financial gain,” the U.S. prosecutor’s office in Los Angeles said. He was arrested and released for a $ 100,000 bond last month.
A previous federal charge of conspiracy to violate the RacketeerInlifluced and Corrupted Organizations Act was included in Thursday’s indictment, said Ciaran McEvoy, a spokeswoman for the U.S. law firm in Los Angeles.
A Huizar spokesman did not respond immediately to the request for comment on Thursday evening.
New allegations include numerous frauds involving electronic fraud, postal fraud, cross-border travel to aid racketeering, bribery and money laundering, and one-off calculations of the structure of cash contributions to cover up bribes, making a false statement to a financial institution, making false statements to federal law. enforcement and tax evasion.
The case arose from allegations that Huizar took bribes from an unnamed Chinese billionaire developer and others in exchange for approving proposed construction projects.
Huizar was the chairman of a powerful city planning and land management committee.
The indictment alleges the board member received a benefit of about $ 800,000 from the billionaire, which the U.S. law firm described as a multinational expansion that owns a hotel in the Huizar district.
The developer wanted to build a 77-story building in the Huizar district.
Prosecutors said in last month̵7;s criminal complaint that Huizar received “direct and indirect financial benefits” through more than a dozen trips to Las Vegas casinos, including rides on private planes and stays in luxury villas.
He did not report his “illegal benefits” in his tax returns, the U.S. law firm said.
According to the U.S. prosecutor, the jury’s biggest indictment shows that Huizar acted as a “criminal organization” while others, including a former deputy mayor, Huizar’s special assistant and real estate development consultant, were involved.
May. George Esparza, 33, a “special assistant” to Huizar until 2017, agreed to plead guilty and collaborate with investigators on his role in the alleged scheme.
FBI 2018 He raided Huizar’s home and office in November and was later removed from his committee.
“During a search of his home, agents confiscated approximately $ 129,000 in cash stacked in Huizar’s locker, which he said he received from a Chinese billionaire and another businessman seeking opportunities from him,” federal prosecutors said in a statement on Wednesday.
Hizar was scheduled to be appointed in federal court on Monday by videoconference.
The accusation is part of a broader investigation into corruption in Los Angeles City Hall, in which five people are accused. Former councilor Mitch Englander pleaded guilty earlier this month to accusing counterfeiters of classifying the facts of a businessman-funded trip he took to Las Vegas and Palm Springs.
Huizar has been representing the city center since 2005.