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Court reduces ex-South Gate official's corruption convictions

A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals throws out former Treasurer Albert T. Robles' convictions for public corruption and money laundering but lets stand five counts of bribery.

April 16, 2013|By Maura Dolan, Los Angeles Times
  • Former South Gate Treasurer Albert T. Robles, shown after his arrest in 2004, had his convictions for public corruption and money laundering thrown out by a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The panel let stand five counts of bribery.
Former South Gate Treasurer Albert T. Robles, shown after his arrest in… (Lawrence K. Ho, Los Angeles…)

A federal appeals court Monday reduced a former South Gate official's corruption convictions.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals threw out former Treasurer Albert T. Robles' convictions for public corruption and money laundering but let stand five counts of bribery.

Robles, who was accused of plundering the small, working-class city, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2006 for illegal conduct involving city contracts.

The 9th Circuit ruling could trigger a reduction of his sentence, an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court or even possibly a retrial.

Most of Robles' convictions were thrown out as a result of a 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that narrowed the scope of a federal corruption law. The high court said the law could not be used to prosecute people for failure to disclose conflicts of interest.

Robles was elected South Gate treasurer in 1997 and reelected in 2001. He had previously served as mayor and as a City Council member.

A federal prosecutor involved in the case declined to comment, saying the ruling was still being evaluated.

Thomas Kiley, Robles' attorney, said he hoped the ruling would mean that Robles could leave prison. Robles has been behind bars since November 2006.

The case will now return to a federal district judge, who will review whether Robles' sentence should be modified.

maura.dolan@latimes.com

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