Disgraced Ex-Bell City Manager Rizzo Pleads Guilty in Tax Evasion Case

Prosecutor say Robert Rizzo created a corporation to fraudulently claim losses on his federal income tax returns

By Jonathan Lloyd and Wire Reports
|  Monday, Jan 13, 2014  |  Updated 2:03 PM PDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Final Verdict in Bell Corruption Trial Gives City Hope

Jan. 10, 2012: Robert Rizzo appears in court.

Photos and Videos

Guilty Verdict in Bell Corruption Trial of Angela Spaccia

A former Bell city official is convicted of 11 felony counts, including misappropriating public funds. Angela Spaccia was taken away from the courtroom in handcuffs, remanded into custody in a move that her attorney says was a surprise. Gordon Tokumatsu reports from Downtown Los Angeles for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Dec. 9, 2013.

Final Verdict in Bell Corruption Trial Gives City Hope

After a former city leader is convicted of 11 felony corruption counts, Bell residents and employees say they're relieved but it will take a while before their small town has fully healed. Gordon Tokumatsu reports from Bell for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Dec. 10, 2013.
More Photos and Videos

The man who became the face of a government corruption case that outraged a community southeast of downtown Los Angeles and led to several city officials' resignations pleaded guilty Monday to federal tax evasion charges.

Timeline: Bell Corruption Scandal

Robert Rizzo, 60, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and filing a false federal income tax return with the Internal Revenue Service. The former Bell city manager faces a maximum of eight years in federal prison, plus restitution, fines and  penalties.

The pleas came during a 30-minute hear in U.S. District Court. Sentencing is scheduled for March 10, two days before Rizzo is set to  be sentenced in state court, where he previously pleaded no contest to 69  counts of corruption in a scheme in which he and top Bell city officials were  paid exorbitant salaries and benefits.

Rizzo was taking in more than $1 million a as Bell's city manager, according to investigators. He had no comment as he left the courts building.

Read: "Ridiculous Sums of Money" at Heart of Scandal

Rizzo created a corporation to fraudulently claim losses exceeding $300,000 on his income-tax return, according to federal prosecutors. The IRS suffered losses of more than $300,000 for the years  2006-10, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

The corporation's tax returns falsely claimed that the expenses were  related to the rental property, according to court papers.

After Rizzo pleaded no contest to the state charges, Superior Court  Judge Kathleen Kennedy said she would allow him to serve his sentence concurrently with the time he serves on the federal tax charges. He faces  between 10 and 12 years in the state case.

Angela Spaccia, Bell's former assistant city administrator and Rizzo's  second-in-command, was convicted in state court of 11 felonies for conspiring  to misappropriate public funds and looting the working-class city's coffers  through exorbitant salaries and personal loans of taxpayer money. She faces  nearly 17 years in prison, with sentencing tentatively set for Jan. 22.
 

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
Bay Area Proud
Bay Area Proud is NBC Bay... Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out