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LA Ethics Panel Fines Money Launderers … Here’s What’s Behind It

MAILANDER’S LA - One of the City's many affordable housing property managers has agreed to pay a stiff fine to the City, an apparently open admission that the firm funneled money to local politicians illicitly and received political favor in return.

Having watched the local Homeless Industrial Complex and affordable housing lobby in action for some time now, I believe this is just the start, with the City's Ethics Commission actually trying to help LA's biggest political figures out of worse trouble down the line by helping them say no to cash now, to get out in front of slow but steady FBI investigations.

Most of the players in these schemes make $175-$200,000 a year.  They use a variety of mechanisms through their boards to funnel campaign contributions to the key political figures who set up the projects.  It's not only City Councilmembers who have received laundered donations--County figures are involved as well. 

The City of Los Angeles, as well as the cities of Glendale and Fullerton, became especially alert to the potential for affordable housing schemes in 2010, when the cities began to suspect that Advanced Development Incorporated was marking up contractor invoices and secreting money garnered from municipalities to India.  ADI has only recently begun to divest itself of assets to pay creditors.

(Joseph Mailander is a writer, an LA observer and a contributor to CityWatch. He is also the author of Days Change at Night: LA's Decade of Decline, 2003-2013. Mailander blogs at www.josephmailander.com.)

-cw

  

CityWatch

Vol 11 Issue 15

Pub: Feb 22. 2013