John Noguez, Former L.A. Assessor, Faces New Embezzlement Charges
New charges were filed against former L.A. County tax assessor John Noguez today alleging that he took bribes to make $10 million in property taxes disappear starting as far back as 1996, the District Attorney's Office announced today.
Noguez being arrested. Photo by Gene Maddaus / LA Weekly.
Noguez's alleged accomplice, tax consultant Ramin Salari, was also hit with new charges as part of the same case:
Both pleaded not guilty today to three new counts each of grand theft and embezzlement, prosecutors said.
The duo earlier was hit with a case alleging bribery, conspiracy and more.
The new charges allege that Noguez, 48, was reducing property values (and thus property taxes) for clients of Salari, 50, as early as 1996. According to a DA's statement:
The new charges involve three additional properties in downtown Los Angeles that were appraised at a lower value.
Prosecutors allege that Noguez accepted bribes from Salari to lower property tax assessments for some of Salari's clients, whose properties were located in Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Pasadena, Marina del Rey and the South Bay. Prosecutors allege the new charges show Noguez was working with Salari as far back as March 1996.
Additionally, Salari was hit with a separate case of felony tax evasion.
If convicted, Noguez could see 50 years behind bars, and Salari could see 75 years, prosecutors said.
A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Jan. 30.