A grand jury on Thursday returned an indictment against Los Angeles Mayor Jose Huyzar alleging that he took bribes, concealed income, evaded taxes and lied to investigators.
Huyzar, 61, is accused of accepting $ 1.5 million in “illegal financial payments,” the Los Angeles Attorney’s Office said in a statement. He was arrested last month and released on a $ 100,000 bond.
A previous federal indictment in conspiracy to violate the Racketeering Influences and Corruption Act was included in the indictment on Thursday, said Ciaran McEvoy, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney̵7;s Office in Los Angeles.
Huizar’s spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday night.
The new charges include numerous counts of leading fraud, mail fraud, travel between the state to aid racketeering, bribery and money laundering, and single counts of structuring cash deposits to conceal bribes, making a false statement to a financial institution, making false allegations. tax evasion.
The case stems from allegations that Huizar took bribes from an unnamed Chinese developer billionaire and others in exchange for favorable consideration for the proposed construction projects.
Huyzar was the chairman of a powerful city planning and land use committee.
The prosecution claims that the deputy received about $ 800,000 in assistance from the billionaire, the US Attorney’s Office is described as a multinational developer who owns a hotel in the area of Huyzar.
The developer wanted to build a 77-storey building in the area of Huyzar.
Last month, prosecutors claimed that last month there was a criminal complaint that Huyzar received “direct and indirect financial benefits” during dozens of trips to casinos in Las Vegas, which included trips on private planes and stays in luxury villas.
He did not report his “illegal benefits” on tax returns, according to the US Attorney’s Office.
The grand jury’s indictment alleges that Husar ran his office as a “criminal organization,” according to a U.S. prosecutor’s statement, and that others, including a former deputy mayor, Hussein’s special aide and real estate consultant, were involved.
In May, 33-year-old George Esparza, Huyzar’s “special assistant” until 2017, agreed to plead guilty and work with investigators on his role in the alleged scheme.
In November 2018, the FBI raided Huyzar’s home and office, and he was later stripped of his warrant.
“During a search of his home, agents seized about $ 129,000 in cash hidden in Huyzar’s closet, which he is accused of receiving from a Chinese billionaire and another businessman seeking benefits from him,” federal prosecutors said in a statement. statement on wednesday.
On Monday, Huyzar was due to be appointed to federal court by video conference.
The indictment is part of a larger investigation into corruption at the Los Angeles City Hall, in which five people were nominated. Earlier this month, former adviser Mitch Englander pleaded guilty to charges of falsifying business-funded travel, he traveled to Las Vegas and Palm Springs.
Huizar has been representing the city district since 2005.