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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

Ex-Anaheim Official Sentenced in Extortion

November 21, 2000

SANTA ANA — A former Anaheim city official who pleaded guilty to extortion and cooperated in a political corruption probe in Santa Ana was sentenced Monday to a one-month federal prison term.

Former Associate City Planner Majid Ahmadi will also serve five months of home detention under the sentence imposed by U.S. District Judge Alicemarie H. Stotler. During the brief court hearing in Santa Ana, Ahmadi termed his crimes an error of judgment.

Although he faced a potential 16-month term, his sentence was cut because of his cooperation in several investigations, federal prosecutors said. Ahmadi also pleaded guilty to two tax evasion charges.

Ahmadi was caught in 1994 trying to extort $13,000 from a gasoline station owner seeking approval for a mini-mart. As part of his plea agreement with prosecutors, Ahmadi began to work as a cooperating witness for the FBI.

Prosecutors would not say how many convictions resulted from investigations involving Ahmadi. They said some of the cases are ongoing.

One of Ahmadi's tips triggered a probe of alleged political corruption in Santa Ana that indirectly led to the convictions of Councilman Ted Moreno and three of his political allies. Moreno was not the original target of the investigation but became the focus of it after he approached an FBI informant at a City Council meeting.

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