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LA Politician Guilty of Racketeering and Tax Evasion

Posted by Vitaly Sigal | Feb 23, 2023 | 0 Comments

A Boyle Heights resident, and Former Los Angeles City Councilmember, José Huizar, 54, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act and one count of tax evasion.

RICO Act Violation

Huizar admitted to using his position to benefit real estate developers who funded and facilitated bribes and other illicit financial benefits, including accepting a $600,000 bribe to settle a former staffer's sexual harassment lawsuit confidentially. Law enforcement officials dubbed this corruption case “CD-14 Enterprise,” which Huizar led from 2013 to 2020, including several years he was chairing the city's Planning and Land Use Management Committee (PLUM). Plum oversaw major commercial and residential development projects in Los Angeles.

Under the RICO Act charges, he and other city officials were accused of demanding and accepting bribes, casino gambling chips, prostitution and escort services, political contributions, flights on private jets and commercial airlines, stays at luxury hotels and casinos, expensive meals, tickets to concerts and sporting events, and other benefits. Members and associates of the CD-14 Enterprise, including lobbyists, consultants, and other city officials and staffers, also sought to personally enrich themselves and their families and associates in exchange for official acts, like presenting motions and resolutions in city committees to benefit projects and leveraging voting and scheduling power to pressure developers with pending projects in altering their business practices.

In exchange for pleading guilty, prosecutors have agreed to seek no more than 13 years in prison for Huizar, and Huizar has agreed to seek a sentence of no less than nine years in prison. They also require that he forfeit $129,000 in cash, which was found in his home during a search by law enforcement in November 2018. The government also intends to seek more than $1 million in restitution on the city's behalf.

Hiring an Experienced Criminal Attorney

Huizar's plea agreement has not been accepted completely. The court must accept either all of it or reject aspects of it – which would undermine its real fairness. Attorney Vitaly Sigal of Sigal Law Group is an experienced criminal defense attorney who understands when plea deals are necessary and when a true defense argument should be attempted. Call 818-325-0570 today for a free consultation.

About the Author

Vitaly Sigal

Vitaly Sigal Sigal Law Group Owner 355 S. Grand Ave, Suite 2450 Los Angeles, CA 90071 (213) 620-0212 Vitaly Sigal has extensive trial experience and is not afraid to take your case to trial if necessary. From straightforward to complex litigation, Mr. Sigal handles every case with the same i...


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