Former Los Angeles Deputy Mayor Found Guilty in City Hall Corruption Case

Former Los Angeles Deputy Mayor Raymond Chan has been found guilty of racketeering, bribery, fraud, and giving false statements to investigators in a high-profile corruption case centered around pay-to-play schemes at City Hall. The federal jury reached the verdict within 24 hours of closing arguments, and sentencing is scheduled for June 10. Chan’s attorney, John Hanusz, has stated that an appeal will be filed.

The case, known as “Casino Loyale” by the federal government, has targeted corruption within City Hall, with Chan being the last defendant to go on trial. Former City Councilmember Jose Huizar, who headed the influential committee responsible for approving downtown real estate projects, has already pleaded guilty to racketeering and tax evasion charges and was sentenced to 13 years in prison. Another key figure, George Esparza, Huizar’s former aide, has also pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and is yet to be sentenced.

Prosecutors have alleged that Chan acted as a crucial intermediary between Chinese developers seeking to build downtown high-rises and Huizar. They claim that Chan received bribes for himself and other public officials, while also helping Huizar obtain funds from a Chinese developer who later sought to construct a 77-story skyscraper in Huizar’s district. The government further alleges that Chan secretly established a consulting firm while working for the city and received payments from a developer after leaving his city employment.

Chan’s defense attorney argues that while Huizar and others engaged in corrupt activities, Chan did not receive any personal benefits. Hanusz claims that Chan’s motivation was to make Los Angeles more business-friendly and remove bureaucratic obstacles to new construction.

The trial covered the period from 2013 to 2018, during which Huizar held significant power over real estate projects as the head of the council’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee. Chan, who served as the top executive at the Department of Building and Safety before becoming the deputy mayor in charge of economic development under Mayor Eric Garcetti, left city government to work as a private-sector consultant representing real estate developers.

CrimeDoor
Author: CrimeDoor

1 Response

  1. Wow, this corruption case involving Raymond Chan is truly shocking. I would be interested to hear the author’s thoughts on the broader issue of corruption in politics and how it affects public trust in government. Do they believe this case is an isolated incident or indicative of a larger problem?

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