UNITED STATES NEWS

Developer who paid $500,000 bribe to Los Angeles councilman sentenced to 6 years in federal prison

Jul 21, 2023, 5:30 PM | Updated: 7:04 pm

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A real estate developer was sentenced Friday to six years in federal prison for paying $500,000 in bribes to a Los Angeles city councilman for help with a downtown project.

Dae Yong Lee, also known as “David Lee,” also was fined $750,000 and a company that he controlled was fined $1.5 million plus prosecution costs, the U.S. attorney’s office said in a statement.

Prosecutors said that in 2017, Lee bribed José Huizar and the councilman’s special assistant to help resolve a labor organization’s appeal that was blocking approval of a planned development that was to include more than 200 residences and some 14,000 square feet (1,300 square meters) of commercial space.

At the time, Huizar chaired the city’s powerful Planning and Land Use Management Committee.

In 2017, Lee made three cash payments totaling $500,000 to Huizar’s assistant, George Esparza, prosecutors said.

Last year, Lee and the company were convicted of bribery, honest services wire fraud and falsifying records in federal investigations to conceal the bribes.

The sentence was the latest in a sweeping corruption case swirling around Huizar, whom authorities said ran a pay-to-play bribery scheme from 2013 to 2017 tied to the approval of downtown high-rise developments.

Huizar pleaded guilty in January to racketeering conspiracy and tax evasion. He’s scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 25. Under a plea agreement, Huizar agreed to seek a sentence of at least nine years in prison, prosecutors said.

In addition to Huizar, more than a half-dozen other people have been convicted or pleaded guilty to federal charges in the scheme, including Huizar’s brother, Salvador Huizar.

Esparza pleaded guilty in July 2020 to one count of racketeering conspiracy and testified against Lee at his trial.

Former Deputy Mayor Raymond Chan is awaiting retrial next year on federal charges of racketeering conspiracy. Prosecutors allege that he accepted more than $100,000 to help a Chinese real estate developer.

United States News

Work continues on the roof of Gaido's restaurant in preparation for opening for diners for the firs...

Associated Press

In beachy Galveston, locals buckle down without power after Beryl’s blow during peak tourist season

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) — Vacuums sucked the water out of the seaside inn run by Nick Gaido’s family in Galveston since 1911 as power was still spotty nearly one week after a resurgent Hurricane Beryl swept into Texas. Blue tarp covered much of the torn off roof. Gaido scheduled cleanup shifts for the hotel and […]

7 hours ago

FILE - Balloons are hoisted to the ceiling in the Forum ahead of the 2024 Republican National Conve...

Associated Press

When does a presumptive nominee become a nominee? Here’s how Donald Trump will make it official

WASHINGTON (AP) — Monday 12:01 AM Nearly 2,500 delegates are gathering in Milwaukee this week for a roll call vote to select a the Republican presidential nominee, formally ending the presidential primary. It will be a moment lacking in suspense: Former President Donald Trump has already been the presumptive nominee for months, having clinched a […]

8 hours ago

Members of the Coalition to March on the RNC speak during a news conference ahead of the 2024 Repub...

Associated Press

GOP convention protests are on despite shooting at Trump rally

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Activists gathering in Milwaukee for the start of the Republican National Convention say the assassination attempt on former President Donald Trump won’t affect their long-standing plans to demonstrate outside the convention site this week. A diverse range of organizations and activists is expected outside the downtown Fiserv Forum. The largest expected demonstration […]

8 hours ago

FILE - Actor Clint Eastwood speaks to an empty chair while addressing delegates during the Republic...

Associated Press

Floor fights, boos and a too-long kiss. How the dramatic and the bizarre define convention history

WASHINGTON (AP) — In 1948, the Republican and Democratic parties did something unthinkable in today’s climate of ferocious political animosity: They not only held their national conventions in the same city, but shared some of the props. Both gathered in Philadelphia, largely because its Municipal Auditorium had already been fitted with the wiring needed for […]

8 hours ago

FILE - Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally, ...

Associated Press

The RNC’s first day will still focus on the economy. Here’s what to know about Trump’s plans

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump goes into the Republican National Convention with bold promises about the U.S. economy, but he has sketched out notably few details about how his plans would actually work. The convention’s first day is still expected to focus on the economy even after Saturday’s shooting at a Trump rally in Pennsylvania […]

8 hours ago

FILE - Wayne LaPierre arrives at court, Jan. 24, 2024, in New York. The second phase of the civil t...

Associated Press

Second phase of NRA civil trial over nonprofit’s spending set to open in NYC

NEW YORK (AP) — The second phase of the civil trial against the National Rifle Association and its top executives is set to begin Monday in Manhattan, with New York Attorney General Letitia James seeking an independent monitor to oversee the powerful gun rights group. The Democrat also is seeking to ban Wayne LaPierre, the […]

8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinic visits boost student training & community health

Going to a Midwestern University Clinic can help make you feel good in more ways than one.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

Developer who paid $500,000 bribe to Los Angeles councilman sentenced to 6 years in federal prison