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Tax Consultant

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 15, 2012 | By Jack Dolan, Los Angeles Times
Large tax breaks approved by Assessor John Noguez for downtown business owners who contributed to a little-known campaign fund will be investigated immediately, according to acting assessor Santos Kreimann. When Noguez ran for office in 2010, more than $100,000 poured into a City Council fund he controlled in Huntington Park, where he was a councilman. Most of that money came from downtown business owners with seemingly little interest in the small, working-class city. Only one check, for $250, came from a Huntington Park resident during the election year, records show.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 19, 2013 | By Abby Sewell
Los Angeles County supervisors are slated to approve a new acting head in the assessor's office, which has been rocked by allegations that Assessor John Noguez and others traded bribes for lower property tax bills. Noguez, who was elected assessor in 2010, still officially holds the top position but has been on paid leave for more than a year after the district attorney's office opened an investigation that led to charges against him, one of his top aides and a tax consultant. Noguez faces 30 felony counts, including accepting bribes, perjury and misappropriation of public funds.
BUSINESS
April 1, 2014 | By Michael Hiltzik
Forget about jazz; the true indigenous American art form is the tax dodge. Today brings us (courtesy of Sen. Carl Levin's subcommittee on investigations) an impressively elegant example from Caterpillar Inc. Elegant and lucrative too: Levin's committee says Cat's maneuver has saved it $2.4 billion in taxes since 2000. On the downside, the company had to pay PricewaterhouseCoopers, which cooked up the dodge as Caterpillar's tax consultant and also approved it as Caterpillar's corporate auditing firm (this is known as one hand shaking the other)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 12, 2012 | By Jack Dolan and Ruben Vives, Los Angeles Times
When John Noguez ran for Los Angeles County assessor in 2010, large donations started pouring into his City Council account in Huntington Park, where Noguez served as a councilman. More than $100,000 flowed through the account that year, mostly from downtown Los Angeles business owners. Only one $250 donation came from a Huntington Park address, records show. Within months of Noguez's election, he and his top aides knocked at least $36 million off the assessed values of properties owned by donors to that Huntington Park fund, a Times investigation has found.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 19, 2012 | By Jack Dolan, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez and the tax consultant accused of bribing him, Ramin Salari, pleaded not guilty to a long list of corruption charges Thursday. The men, who were arrested Wednesday, are being held on more than $1-million bail each. They are scheduled to be in court again Monday to argue for lower bail and to prove that any money they use to pay it was not acquired through criminal means. Prosecutors allege that Noguez took $185,000 in bribes to illegally reduce the values of properties represented by Salari so their owners would pay lower taxes.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 4, 2012 | By Sam Allen
Supporters of Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez, who was arrested last month in a sweeping corruption case on suspicion of taking bribes to reduce property assessments, are now being asked to donate money so he can make bail. An email sent Friday afternoon from Noguez's personal account — signed by "Friends of John Noguez" — asked for contributions to the assessor's legal fund. "As you may know, our friend John Noguez is in trouble and needs our support more than ever," the email said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 19, 2012 | By Jack Dolan and Abby Sewell, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez will keep receiving his $197,000 salary in jail. The Board of Supervisors discussed his fate behind closed doors Tuesday and did not remove him from office. Noguez has been in jail since mid-October. He is charged with taking $185,000 in bribes from a tax consultant - and campaign fundraiser - to lower property taxes for his clients. Noguez, who was elected assessor in 2010, has not worked since June, when he placed himself on paid leave of absence to concentrate on preparing a legal defense to the corruption allegations swirling around him. While on leave, he got a cost-of-living raise in July, boosting his annual salary from $192,000 to $197,000.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 17, 2012 | By Ruben Vives and Jack Dolan, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley on Wednesday called for the resignation of Assessor John Noguez, whose office has been the target of a corruption probe. Cooley made the comments to reporters for several news organizations, a day after he announced that he planned to bring the case to a grand jury. "I don't think he should be there," Cooley told KNBC-TV Channel 4. "In my view, he should resign in the light of everything that's come out publicly. " Officials at the district attorney's office confirmed that Cooley would like Noguez to step down.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 27, 2012 | By Jack Dolan and Ruben Vives, Los Angeles Times
On his first day as a special assistant to Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez, David Zoraster was surprised to see the methodical, data-driven process of property appraisal replaced with a system known within the office as "Let's Make a Deal. " One of Noguez's deputies ignored appraisals valuing the site of Hollywood's Old Spaghetti Factory site at $16 million to $18 million, and sided with the property owner's tax consultant - Ramin Salari, a prominent Noguez campaign fundraiser - who said the parcels were worth only $10.5 million.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 17, 2012 | By Jack Dolan, Ruben Vives and Jack Leonard, Los Angeles Times
About six months before John Noguez was elected Los Angeles County assessor, he received an $80,000 check from his old friend and prominent property tax consultant, Ramin Salari. Over the next few months, Salari cut Noguez two more checks, for a total of $180,000. In return, authorities say, assessor officials began giving tax breaks to many of Salari's clients. Prosecutors on Wednesday alleged that the payments to Noguez - and an additional $100,000 given to a lower-level assessor's official - were bribes to illegally reduce the values of properties so that Salari's clients would pay less in taxes.
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