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October 31, 2013

More Corruption Charges Filed Against Noguez, Salari

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:59 am

Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez and a tax consultant who were charged last year in a massive corruption scheme to lower property taxes on favored individuals and businesses both pleaded not guilty today to a dozen new felony counts, the District Attorney’s Office announced.

Noguez, 48, and tax consultant Ramin Salari, 50, appeared in court before Judge George Lomeli to set a date for their preliminary hearing when they were arraigned on three new counts each of grand theft and three counts each of embezzlement. The new charges involve three additional properties in downtown Los Angeles that were appraised at a lower value.

Prosecutors allege that Noguez accepted bribes from Salari to lower property tax assessments for some of Salari’s clients, whose properties were located in Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Pasadena, Marina Del Rey and the South Bay. Prosecutors allege the new charges show Noguez was working with Salari as far back as March 1996.

In addition, prosecutors with the Public Integrity Division filed a separate case today charging Salari with three counts of felony tax evasion. Salari pleaded not guilty to those charges.

Noguez and Salari and co-defendant Mark McNeil, one of Noguez’s deputies, all return to court on Jan. 30, 2014, to set a date for their preliminary hearing. The three were arrested in October 2012 and charged with a scheme to trade bribes for lower property tax bills.

The new charges today bring the total loss to the county at more than $10 million in revenue.

If convicted, Noguez faces more than 50 years in custody. Salari faces more than 75 years in custody. Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office / Oct. 28, 2013

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