LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A federal grand jury returned a 34-point indictment against Los Angeles City Councilor Jose Huizar on Thursday for his alleged role in an ongoing corruption investigation.
Huizar, 51, an elected member of the Los Angeles City Council, has been accused of running a criminal company in which prosecutors claim that he used his powerful position in the City Hall to enrich himself and his close staff, and financed developers, the financed, unlawfully cheap and facilitated bribes and other illegal financial benefits.
Boyle Heights residents were charged with a conspiracy last month for violating RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) law.
The Thursday indictment accused Huizar of the following criminal charges: 12 cases of cable fraud in honest services; two cases of honest email fraud; four counts of interstate travel in support of extortion; six cases of bribery; five cases of money laundering; a count of the structuring of cash deposits to hide bribes; a count of making a false statement to a financial institution; a count of false statements to federal law enforcement agencies; and a tax evasion count, according to prosecutors.
Under the corruption allegations, Huizar is accused of illegally accepting more than $ 800,000 in benefits from an unidentified Chinese billionaire who runs a multinational development company and owns a hotel in the Huizar district.
Prosecutors say that Chairman E has provided $ 600,000 in collateral to fund the settlement of a lawsuit against Huizar filed by a former CD-14 officer against Huizar. These allegations threatened his 2015 re-election campaign.
The indictment alleges that Huizar operated the "CD-14 Enterprise" with co-conspirators, including "Individual 1", a former director general of the Los Angeles Department of Building and Security and former vice mayor. George Esparza, Huizar's former special assistant; and real estate development consultant George Chiang. Members and employees of the criminal company described Huizar as their "boss", operated as a criminal organization, and worked together for common purposes, the indictment said.
According to prosecutors, the CD-14 company allegedly had several goals, including enriching its members and employees through bribery, extortion, and honest fraud. Promoting its political goals and maintaining its control and authority; Disguising the company's financial activities; and protecting the company by disguising its activities and protecting the company from discovery by law enforcement agencies, the city and the public.
Huizar could spend up to 30 years in federal prison if convicted on all charges.
He is due to appear on August 3 via video conference on his indictment.