Ex Bell city manager to plead guilty in tax case
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Disgraced former Bell city manager Robert Rizzo is expected to plead guilty Monday to charges that he filed a false federal income tax return to reduce his tax liability.
A hearing is set for the 59-year-old in a Los Angeles federal courtroom where Rizzo will plead guilty to one count each of conspiracy and filing a false federal income tax return. He could face up to eight years in prison, according to a plea agreement filed last month, which also calls for Rizzo to pay additional taxes and penalties.
Rizzo acknowledged creating a corporation more than a decade ago to fraudulently claim losses on his income tax return, which reduced his tax exposure on the significant income he received while running the modest Los Angeles suburb of Bell.
The losses to the Internal Revenue Service between 2006 and 2010 totaled more than $300,000, authorities said.
Rizzo pleaded no contest in October to 69 counts of fraud, misappropriation of public funds and other charges linked to a brazen corruption scandal that drove Bell to the brink of bankruptcy. He's scheduled to be sentenced in March and could be sent to prison for 10 to 12 years but is expected to serve about half of that time.
He became the face of a municipal scandal after it was revealed in 2010 that he was giving himself an annual salary and benefits package of $1.5 million.