The federal grand jury indictment of Jose Huizar isn’t a surprise, but it is dramatic. The 34-county indictment accuses the recently-suspended councilman of accepting about 1-point-5 million dollars in illegal financial benefits. Federal prosecutors say he was part of a scheme by multiple city officials to take bribes from Chinese developers in exchange for approving high-rise developments. Huizar, who has maintained his innocence, will be arraigned Monday.
Kevin Tripp, 247 Newssource
Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar Charged in 34-Count Indictment Alleging Wide-Ranging Political Corruption
LOS ANGELES – A federal grand jury today returned a 34-count indictment against Jose Huizar, an elected member of the Los Angeles City Council, on charges that he led a criminal enterprise where he used his powerful position at City Hall to enrich himself and his close associates, and unlawfully gave favorable treatment to developers who financed and facilitated bribes and other illicit financial benefits.
The indictment incorporates the allegations made in last month’s criminal complaint that charged Huizar, 51, of Boyle Heights, with one count of conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. The indictment specifically alleges 402 overt acts that Huizar and his co-conspirators committed to further their criminal enterprise, including bribery, honest services fraud, and money laundering.
In addition to the RICO conspiracy charge, the indictment charges Huizar with the following criminal charges: 12 counts of honest services wire fraud; two counts of honest services mail fraud; four counts of traveling interstate in aid of racketeering; six counts of bribery; five counts of money laundering; one count of structuring cash deposits to conceal bribes; one count of making a false statement to a financial institution; one count of making false statements to federal law enforcement; and one count of tax evasion.
Huizar is expected to appear via videoconference for his arraignment, which is scheduled for August 3 in United States District Court.
Read the indictment here: