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L.A. County Assessor Noguez hit with more charges in bribery scheme

October 28, 2013|By Richard Winton

Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez and tax consultant Ramin Salari were each hit Monday with six additional charges stemming from their corruption case, Los Angeles County district attorney officials said.

Noguez, who is already facing more than two dozen corruption charges, was in court Monday morning, spokeswoman Jane Robison said. 

The two were initially arrested in October 2012. Noguez is accused of taking $185,000 in bribes from Salari, a prominent property tax consultant and generous Noguez campaign fundraiser. 

In return for the cash, Noguez is alleged to have lowered property tax bills for some of Salari's wealthy clients. Both Noguez and Salari pleaded not guilty after their Oct. 17, 2012, arrests and have vigorously denied any wrongdoing. The new grand theft and embezzlement charges relate to three properties in downtown Los Angeles, Robison said. Prosecutors believe the two have been working together since 1996.

Salari was also charged with three additional counts of felony tax evasion.

Noguez spent several months in jail before making bail in March. Salari was able to post his $1.16-million bail within hours of his arrest. 

Despite his arrest and incarceration, Noguez is still officially the Los Angeles County assessor. He took a voluntary paid leave of absence from the post in June 2012 to prepare his defense.


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