A real estate development company that regularly received funds from Los Angeles leaders to build affordable housing projects has agreed to pay $165,000 to end an ethics investigation into allegations of campaign money-laundering.
Investigators with the city Ethics Commission concluded Advanced Development and Investment Inc. and its affiliated construction company, Pacific Housing Diversified, made 33 contributions totaling $23,850 under assumed names between 1999 and 2009. Advanced Development executives used cash and checks from company accounts to improperly reimburse employees who had made the contributions, the agency found.
Reimbursement was typically provided "the same day the employee made a contribution in his or her name," the commission report states. The panel did not find wrongdoing by the politicians who received the donations, a group that included Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and a handful of candidates and council members.
Ethics officials said they launched their probe into ADI in 2011, after reports in The Times on the company's campaign fundraising practices. The FBI, the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. attorney's office also have been looking at allegations that the company engaged in financial wrongdoing.