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Corruption Case

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 9, 2013 | By Jeff Gottlieb and Ruben Vives
Angela Spaccia, the former second in command in scandal-plagued Bell, was found guilty on 11  out of 13 criminal charges in the 2010 municipal corruption case. After eight days of deliberations, jurors convicted Spaccia of multiple counts of misappropriation of public funds, conflict of interest and secretion of the official record. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on one count of misappropriating public funds and found her not guilty on one  charge related to secretion of public records.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 10, 2014 | By Corina Knoll and Kate Mather
A Los Angeles Superior Court judge lashed out at a former Bell leader Thursday, sentencing her to more than 11 years in prison and branding her a "hog" for tapping the town treasury for her lavish salary while the working-class city slid toward insolvency. Angela Spaccia became the first person sentenced in the municipal corruption case, and the lengthy prison term was the first indicator of how Judge Kathleen Kennedy intends to punish those convicted of misappropriating more than $10 million from one of Los Angeles County's poorest cities.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 8, 2014 | By Lee Romney, This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.
SAN FRANCISCO -- State Sen. Leland Yee on Tuesday pleaded not guilty to all charges stemming from a political-corruption and organized-crime probe, according to multiple local news outlets. Yee, 65, who has been suspended with pay, was arrested last month with two dozen others in connection with a broad sweep targeting alleged organized crime and political corruption in San Francisco. A grand jury released indictments against the men last week. Yee faces a gun-trafficking charge and multiple counts of depriving the public of honest services.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 9, 2014 | By Kate Mather and Ruben Vives
Five former political leaders in the scandal-plagued city of Bell have agreed to plead no contest to corruption charges and could be sentenced to up to four years in prison for their role in looting the treasury of one of Los Angeles County's poorest cities. Had the former council members refused to take the offer, they could have been sentenced to twice as many years behind bars. The ex-council members are accused of drawing extraordinary salaries by serving on boards and commissions that seldom, if ever, met. By the time they were removed from office in 2010, they were making up to $100,000 a year for their part-time work.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 24, 2014 | By David Zahniser
A retired Los Angeles building inspector was sentenced Monday to two and a half years in prison resulting from a federal investigation into bribe-taking at the Department of Building and Safety. U.S. District Judge Dean D. Pregerson also ordered Samuel In, a 37-year city employee who retired in 2011, to pay $30,000 to the city of Los Angeles. In, who pleaded guilty to felony bribery last year, is one of five former Building and Safety employees to face either criminal charges or dismissal as a result of the bribery probe.
WORLD
March 5, 2013 | By Shashank Bengali
KABUL, Afghanistan - An Afghan tribunal handed down the first jail sentences Tuesday in the colossal Kabul Bank corruption case, sentencing the two former top executives to five-year sentences and ordering them to repay hundreds of millions of dollars in embezzled funds. The convictions of former bank Chairman Sherkhan Farnood and former Chief Executive Officer Khalilullah Ferozi were the first to stem from the conspiracy by politically connected Afghans to loot the country's biggest bank, whose collapse in 2010 nearly brought down the war-beaten economy.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 19, 2011 | By Ruben Vives, Los Angeles Times
Last summer, 17-year-old Rebecca Sanchez's world shrank to the size of her camera's viewfinder. For several months, Sanchez and three other Bell High School students immersed themselves in the city's corruption case. They spent hours after school with their cameras, documenting demonstrations and long, rowdy meetings triggered by the pay scandal that led to criminal charges against eight former officials in the working-class town in southeast Los Angeles County. Last week, the four students were honored for their work by the newly installed City Council.
NATIONAL
October 22, 2011 | By Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times
The long-running political corruption probe that saw 11 lawmakers, lobbyists and government staffers convicted in Alaska wound up this week, along with its stories of drunken hotel meetings, sleazy bribery come-ons, and sex-for-drug deals with underage girls. For the first time in years, Alaskans will wake up with no tawdry political drama to relish on the front page. One person who will be happy to see the end of it is Bruce Weyhrauch, a Juneau attorney and former member of the state House of Representatives who spent four years fighting extortion and bribery charges - only to see the legal footings of the case against him turn to quicksand and evaporate, without much fanfare, into a minor misdemeanor charge.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 9, 2014 | By Kate Mather and Ruben Vives
Five former political leaders in the scandal-plagued city of Bell have agreed to plead no contest to corruption charges and could be sentenced to up to four years in prison for their role in looting the treasury of one of Los Angeles County's poorest cities. Had the former council members refused to take the offer, they could have been sentenced to twice as many years behind bars. The ex-council members are accused of drawing extraordinary salaries by serving on boards and commissions that seldom, if ever, met. By the time they were removed from office in 2010, they were making up to $100,000 a year for their part-time work.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 18, 2012 | By Jeff Gottlieb, Los Angeles Times
A former Cudahy councilman agreed Wednesday to plead guilty to bribery and extortion, the third city official to admit guilt in a wide-ranging federal probe into corruption in the southeast Los Angeles County town. Osvaldo Conde, who was arrested last month after a five-hour standoff with FBI agents, admitted that he solicited and accepted bribes totaling $17,000 from the owner of a medical marijuana dispensary who wanted to open shop in the city. Former Mayor David Silva and Angel Perales, who served as interim city manager of the small, working-class city, had already made deals to plead guilty to extortion and bribery in a case that exposed graft, vote rigging and drug use at Cudahy City Hall.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 8, 2014 | By Lee Romney, This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.
SAN FRANCISCO -- State Sen. Leland Yee on Tuesday pleaded not guilty to all charges stemming from a political-corruption and organized-crime probe, according to multiple local news outlets. Yee, 65, who has been suspended with pay, was arrested last month with two dozen others in connection with a broad sweep targeting alleged organized crime and political corruption in San Francisco. A grand jury released indictments against the men last week. Yee faces a gun-trafficking charge and multiple counts of depriving the public of honest services.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 26, 2014 | By Times Staff Writers
The public corruption case against state Sen. Leland Yee reads like a bad crime novel with off-the-books firearms deals made in parking lots and confessions whispered in a booth at a karaoke bar. All told, 26 people were identified as having violated federal statutes in the complaint. It was unclear how many were in custody. They were accused of participating in a free-ranging criminal ring that dabbled in a spectrum of activity, from illegal marijuana "grows" to a scheme to transport stolen liquor to China.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 24, 2014 | By David Zahniser
A retired Los Angeles building inspector was sentenced Monday to two and a half years in prison resulting from a federal investigation into bribe-taking at the Department of Building and Safety. U.S. District Judge Dean D. Pregerson also ordered Samuel In, a 37-year city employee who retired in 2011, to pay $30,000 to the city of Los Angeles. In, who pleaded guilty to felony bribery last year, is one of five former Building and Safety employees to face either criminal charges or dismissal as a result of the bribery probe.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 12, 2014 | By Jeff Gottlieb
Sentencing for former longtime Bell city administrator Robert Rizzo was postponed Wednesday but not before attorneys for the city and his former assistant said they intend to subpoena him to find out the inner details of the public corruption in the small Los Angeles County city. Rizzo, who remains free on bond, was ordered to return to court April 16, when it is expected he will be sentenced to 10 to 12 years in prison. Less clear is whether he will be permitted to serve the time concurrently with a federal sentence for filing false tax returns.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 24, 2014 | By Richard Winton
State Sen.  Ronald S. Calderon   (D-Montebello) was taken into custody Monday after surrendering to federal authorities in Los Angeles, officials announced. Calderon, who was indicted last week on corruption charges and accused of taking $100,000 in bribes, is scheduled to appear for arraignment in federal court later in the day, according to the U.S. attorney's office. He faces 24 counts of fraud, wire fraud, honest services fraud, bribery, conspiracy to commit money laundering, money laundering and aiding in the filing of false tax returns.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 20, 2013 | Tracy Wilkinson
Handpicked for the job by the Mexican president, praised by the U.S. government for his honesty, army Gen. Jose de Jesus Gutierrez Rebollo seemed the perfect man to serve as drug czar. But barely 11 weeks into the job, Gutierrez Rebollo was fired in February 1997 and later convicted of working for a cartel he was tasked to fight. To this day, the Gutierrez Rebollo case remains a prime example of the extent to which drug corruption can permeate Mexico's most important institutions.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 18, 2012 | By Rong-Gong Lin II and Paul Pringle, Los Angeles Times
A fugitive in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum corruption case says that for years he alerted his superiors to alleged criminal wrongdoing at the stadium, but they did nothing. In telephone and Skype interviews with The Times, former Coliseum contractor Tony Estrada, who has been charged with embezzlement and conspiracy, said a culture of self-dealing and fraud thrived at the taxpayer-owned stadium for more than a decade. "I did the right thing," Estrada said in one Skype session, speaking in the accent of his native Cuba.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 13, 2013 | By Jeff Gottlieb
A Superior Court judge Friday told a Los Angeles prosecutor and the attorneys for five Bell council members facing a second trial on corruption charges that they should settle the case. In what was expected to be a routine pre-trial conference Friday, Judge Kathleen Kennedy told the attorneys that they needed to make a serious effort to resolve the 2010 case. The trial of the six former council members ended in March after the jury deliberated for 17 days. The council members were charged with being paid for sitting on city boards that seldom met, if ever, boosting their salaries as high as $100,000 a year for part-time work.
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