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

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



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

    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.