Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Los Angeles ex-official sentenced to a year prison for bribery

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A former Los Angeles County official who took nearly $300,000 in bribes from an electrical contractor was sentenced Tuesday to a year and a day in federal prison, the U.S. attorney’s office announced.

Mohammad R. Tirmazi, 51, of Upland, also was ordered to pay more than $420,000 in restitution to the county and the Internal Revenue Service.

Federal prosecutors said that Tirmazi was a section manager for the voice video and application division of the county’s Internal Services Department when he took bribes from a wiring contractor.

Between 2014 and 2016, Tirmazi accepted cash, checks and gifts valued at nearly $300,000 from Enrique Contreras, 40, of Newbury Park and did not report that income to the IRS, prosecutors said.

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In exchange, Tirmazi approved orders for work that was never performed and materials that weren’t used on county projects, authorities said.

Tirmazi said in a plea agreement that he also considered some work to be “shoddy” but didn’t report or force the correction of safety code violations, including some involving asbestos removal and cable installation, authorities said.

Last year, Tirmazi pleaded guilty to bribery and subscribing to a false tax return. Contreras pleaded guilty to the same charges. In his plea agreement, Contreras acknowledged bribing Tirmazi and a former county Real Estate Division employee, Thomas J. Shepos.

Shepos, 70, of Palmdale, pleaded guilty in 2018 to accepting bribes.

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