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Former LA Councilmember José Huizar's Brother Agrees To Testify Against Him In Corruption Case

An FBI agent, wearing an FBI jacket, carries a large black case. There are more cases behind him, as well as what looks like stucco from a house and a plant. He appears to be loading it into the back of an SUV.
An FBI agent carries a case from Councilmember Jose Huizar's home on Nov. 7, 2018.
(Frederic J. Brown
AFP via Getty Images)
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Salvador Huizar, the brother of former L.A. City Councilmember José Huizar, has agreed to plead guilty to lying to the FBI about his role in a bribery scheme.

What he admitted to doing: Salvador took envelopes of cash from his brother on at least 20 occasions, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. He then converted those to checks written back to his brother, electronic payments, or direct payments for his brother's expenses, according to Salvador's plea agreement. Salvador then lied about doing so to federal investigators.

From the U.S. Attorney's Office's announcement:

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Even though Salvador Huizar asked his brother on multiple occasions about the cash, José Huizar said “it was better that [Salvador Huizar] did not know the source of the cash,” according to the plea agreement.

The backstory: José Huizar faces allegations he traded his influence over development projects for at least $1.5 million in cash and other perks. His trial is due to start in February.

Real estate developer Dae Yong Lee and one of his companies were convicted in June for providing $500,000 in cash to José Huizar and his assistant. This was in exchange for helping to resolve a labor organization's appeal of their downtown L.A. development project, as well as falsifying financial documents.

What's next: Salvador Huizar is due to be sentenced in the coming weeks, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced Wednesday — he faces a maximum of five years in prison. Federal prosecutors say Salvador has agreed to testify at his brother's trial.

Another trial in the case is scheduled for Oct. 25 against Shen Zhen New World I LLC, owned by real estate developer Wei Huang, for allegedly bribing José Huizar in relation to another downtown development project. Huang remains a fugitive, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.