Developer Being Investigated In Noguez Probe
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A developer is under investigation for allegedly tapping his firm’s attorneys and daughters to launder illegal campaign contributions to Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez.
Eskandar Bolour is suspected of asking two company lawyers, Elliot Shirwo and Todd Allen, to donate $500 each to Noguez’s campaign and reimbursing them for those contributions, according to a search warrant obtained by the Los Angeles Times. The checks were signed by Bolour’s daughters.
No charges have been filed against Bolour or those named in the warrant.
The warrant says the lawyers were offered immunity to testify last year before a grand jury looking at allegations of corruption in the assessor’s office. The document includes copies of checks dated May 2010 from Shirwo and Allen to Noguez’s campaign.
Noguez has pleaded not guilty to dozens of counts that include bribery, theft and misappropriating public funds.
Prosecutors contend Noguez and two others accepted bribes in exchange for lowering property tax bills for campaign contributors.
The assessor’s office reduced the value of Bolour’s properties by at least $9.8 million in 2010 and 2011, prompting the county to refund his companies more than $137,000. In 2009, Bolour’s companies received less than $8,000 in county property tax refunds, records show.
Noguez, who took a paid leave of absence last summer, remains the county’s assessor and continues to receive his $197,000 salary.
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