By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A federal grand jury Thursday returned a 34-count indictment against Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar for his alleged role in an ongoing corruption investigation.

Huizar, 51, an elected member of the Los Angeles City Council, has been accused of leading a criminal enterprise where prosecutors say he used his powerful position at City Hall to enrich himself and his close associates, and unlawfully gave favorable treatment to developers who financed and facilitated bribes and other illicit financial benefits.

The Boyle Heights residents was charged last month with one count of conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.

Thursday’s indictment charges Huizar with the following criminal charges: 12 counts of honest services wire fraud; two counts of honest services mail fraud; four counts of traveling interstate in aid of racketeering; six counts of bribery; five counts of money laundering; one count of structuring cash deposits to conceal bribes; one count of making a false statement to a financial institution; one count of making false statements to federal law enforcement; and one count of tax evasion, according to prosecutors.

Among the corruption allegations, Huizar is accused of illegally accepting more than $800,000 in benefits from an unidentified Chinese billionaire who runs a multinational development firm and who owns a hotel in Huizar’s district.

Prosecutors say “Chairman E” provided $600,000 in collateral to fund a settlement of a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against Huizar by a former CD-14 staffer, allegations that threatened his 2015 re-election campaign.

The indictment alleges that Huizar operated the “CD-14 Enterprise,” along with co-conspirator members, including “Individual 1,” a former general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety and former deputy mayor; George Esparza, Huizar’s former special assistant; and real estate development consultant George Chiang. Members and associates of the criminal enterprise referred to Huizar as their “boss,” operated as a criminal organization, and worked together for common purposes, the indictment alleges.

According to prosecutors, the CD-14 Enterprise allegedly had several objectives, including enriching its members and associates through means that included bribery, extortion, and honest services fraud; advancing its political goals and maintaining its control and authority; concealing the enterprise’s financial activities; and protecting the enterprise by concealing its activities and shielding the enterprise from detection by law enforcement, the city, and the public.

Huizar could face up to 30 years in federal prison if convicted on all charges.

He is scheduled to appear via videoconference for his arraignment on August 3.

Comments (20)
  1. Gary Oliver says:

    Like all the Propogandist Press on the left, there is no mention of Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar party affiliation (Big D democrat) Were he a Republican Councilman, you and your comrades would have said so in the opening paragraph.

  2. no Gary the affiliation does not matter. Tehy all play these games and once the people wake up and stop battering each over Democrat, Republican and Independent, thenreal change and action can occur in our state and country. Stay focused on where the problem lies—-do not be distracted by the frivolous party affiliation.

  3. no Gary the affiliation does not matter. They all play these games and once the people wake up and stop battling each over Democrat, Republican and Independent, then real change and action can occur in our state and country. Stay focused on where the problem lies—-do not be distracted by the frivolous party affiliation. These politicians are ALL getting rich, purchasing property and living BiG —— and we are all debating how to get throuhg COVID—–Be done with them all!

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