Brothers Plead Guilty in L.A. Housing Authority Corruption Case
On March 19, two brothers of a former Los Angeles Housing Authority official charged in an elaborate scheme to steer construction contracts to family-controlled companies pleaded guilty. According to the U.S. attorney's office, the two brothers had earlier pleaded not guilty to conspiracy charges, but changed their pleas.
The former housing authority official, who supervised construction projects at the housing authority from 2003 to 2007, has also been charged, but is a fugitive. Federal prosecutors allege that the former official arranged for numerous contracts at housing projects to be awarded to companies controlled by his brothers. After those firms received checks from the housing authority, they allegedly kicked back payments to him, according to a grand jury indictment unsealed earlier this year.
Contracts in the case were for design and construction of facilities to accommodate the disabled, such as wheelchair ramps, toilets, and grab bars, in city housing projects. In various instances, the housing authority appears to have overpaid for the services or paid twice for the same service.