Former Los Angeles Housing Official Accused of Bribery

January 20, 2012 5:59 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

A former Los Angeles housing official and his two brothers have been charged by federal prosecutors with bribery and conspiracy this week. Victor Taracena, who supervised construction project for the city of Los Angeles to make buildings compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act from 2003 to 2007, is said to have arranged for several building contracts to be awarded to companies run by his two brothers, Bennett and Diego Taracena. After being paid by the city for their work, those companies allegedly paid Taracena as more than $40,000, which Victor Taracena may have used to purchase land in Guatemala.

The allegations against Taracena first surfaced in 2007 after a story in the Los Angeles Times was written about how building contracts worth as much as $800,000 were directed to his brothers’ companies either without legitimate competitive bids or in rigged contests. Investigators in the case also found accounting irregularities such as overpaying for services or even paying twice for them.

In 2010, the city of Los Angeles won a civil suit against Taracena’s two brothers in the amount of $605,000. Victor Taracena is reportedly in Guatemala and is considered a fugitive by federal law enforcement agents. His brothers, Bennett and Diego Taracena, are being held without bail after being charged with bribery and conspiracy.

Bribery and conspiracy are serious criminal offenses that require the guidance of a skilled and qualified attorney. Procedures in federal criminal courts are much more complex than at the county or even state level. Federal law enforcemant agents and prosecutors have enormous resources at their disposal to gather evidence against you.

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