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Grand Jury Returns 34-Count Indictment Against Jose Huizar

Los Angeles City Councilmember Jose Huizar speaks on the steps of L.A. City Hall in this February 2013 file photo. (David McNew/Getty Images)
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A federal grand jury has returned a 34-count indictment against suspended L.A. City Councilman Jose Huizar.

That indictment includes charges that Huizar led a criminal enterprise where he used his position at City Hall to enrich himself and others. Huizar is also accused of giving favorable treatment to developers who financed and facilitated bribes.

The accusations are part of a wide-ranging investigation into a pay-to-play scheme at Los Angeles City Hall. Huizar is scheduled to be arraigned Monday in Los Angeles Federal Court.

According to a Justice Department news release about today's indictment:

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In total, Huizar allegedly agreed to accept at least $1.5 million in illicit financial benefits.

In addition, the indictment includes allegations that Huizar illegally took more than $800,000 in benefits from a "Chinese billionaire who runs a multinational development firm and who owns a hotel in Huizar's district."

It also alleges that Huizar used "family members to launder hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes, making false statements on a bank loan application and failing to report his illicit benefits on tax returns and ethics disclosure forms."

Federal prosecutors said "Huizar is the fifth person to be charged in the ongoing corruption investigation being conducted by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office."

Four other defendants have pleaded guilty. Prosecutors said three of those defendants who are cooperating with investigators are scheduled to be sentenced next February:

Former L.A. City Councilman Mitchell Englander pleaded guilty in court on July 7 and he faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison.


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