Associate of Bush, Villaraigosa Pleads Guilty In Kickback Scheme (Felony Charge Of Helping To Make Crap Movie Pending)

Kickback money can be bad for the enviroment.
Kickback money can be bad for the enviroment.

Holmby Hills' Elliott Broidy has been called "the mystery man of the Israeli economy," but he's had more friends than Tila Tequila, including President George W. Bush (whom he's hosted at his Westside home) and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (who appointed him to a city pension fund board). But we're guessing the financier is feeling a bit lonely this week after he pleaded guilty to one count of "rewarding official misconduct" in what New York state Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo's office is calling a "pay-to-play kickback scheme."

Cuomo says Broidy paid nearly $1 million dollars in cash, contributions and gifts to New York State Comptroller officials to get them to invest $250 million from the New York State Common Retirement Fund in Markstone Capital Partners, an investment fund Broidy controlled until stepping down from his position there Monday.

"Broidy paid nearly a million dollars in bribes to get a quarter billion dollar investment," Cuomo said. "For Broidy, this was a small price to pay. For New York taxpayers, the harm is incalculable."

Broidy also served as a Villaraigosa-appointed trustee of the Los Angeles Fire and Police Pension fund from 2002 until he resigned in May 2009 following an inquiry by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which wanted to know if he had done business on the side with any company that had come before the trustees seeking investment cash, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Broidy's local backscratching raised eyebrows: The Times reported that he once voted to invest $30 in a fund managed by mega-developer CIM Group (the builder of Hollywood & Highland, the Gas Company Lofts, Midtown Crossing and more than two dozen commercial and residential projects in the region) which, lo and behold, had money with Markstone.

But perhaps Broidy's worst sin was helping to finance the 2004 Italian-American parody film Chooch to the tune of $300,000. If you ever wondered how crap like that gets made in Hollywood, now you know. Cuomo alleges that Broidy funneled the movie money to the film-producer brothers of David Loglisci, the New York comptroller's chief investment officer, as a favor for the state retirement fund's investment in Markstone.

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