Reporting Claudia Peschiutta
LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A former employee of the Los Angeles County Assessor’s Office was arrested Monday for allegedly falsifying documents and unlawfully lowering property values by $172 million, according to District Attorney Steve Cooley.
Scott Schenter, who worked as an appraiser from 1988 to 2011, allegedly lowered values on homes, condos and businesses in Beverly Hills, Brentwood and Pacific Palisades.
KNX 1070′s Claudia Peschiutta reports Schenter, 49, is also accused of securing campaign contributions from the owners of those homes and businesses for Assessor John Noguez.
“Mr. Noguez, for his part, will remain cooperative with the District Attorney’s investigation,” said Noguez’s attorney Michael Proctor, who said his client denies any wrongdoing.
Schenter, who was arrested at his father’s residence in Beaverton, Ore., is being held on $1.5 million bail.
His arrest is part of an investigation launched last year by the D.A.’s Public Integrity Division into allegations that Noguez and several of his staff members reduced property values for wealthy clients of Ramin Salari, a tax consultant and campaign contributor to Noguez.
Schenter faces 60 felony counts, including 30 counts of falsifying accounts and 30 counts of falsifying records.
An arraignment date is pending.
“We’ll have to wait and see if he’s going to waive extradition,” said Cooley spokeswoman Jane Robison.