Rita Aleksanyan Arrested: Business Owners Tried to Bribe Housing Official -- LAPD
Mar Vista Gardens housing complex in Del Rey.
Cops today said eight people have been arrested in connection with an attempt to bribe a Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles adviser so that people, including alleged business owners, who might not normally qualify for government-subsidized apartments could slip through the cracks and get cheap rent.
None of the alleged criminals were named, even though the "primary suspect" in the case has already been charged and has already pleaded guilty to bribery, according to an LAPD statement released today.
The allegations go something like this:
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The main suspect offered to pay $2,000 to a Section 8 Housing Authority adviser for every prospective tenant who could be approved without the usual background checks.
This happened in March, the LAPD says, and when the adviser immediately went to authorities with the story, they launched a joint investigation with city detectives from the Rampart Division, L.A. Housing Authority investigators and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development officials.
Seven suspects, besides the main guy, were arrested, and search warrants served in Glendale, Hollywood, Northeast Los Angeles and West Valley turned up $175,000 in cash that was intended for the scheme, cops say.
The seven were arrested on suspicion of bribing a public official, cops said.
Asked why the suspects, some of whom are business owners, weren't named, Det. Carlos Llamas told us department brass decided to withhold the IDs for now, that the investigation was "ongoing" and that another news release would be forthcoming.
[Update at 2:06 p.m.]: The District Attorney's office ID's the "primary suspect" for the Weekly: 55-year-old Rita Aleksanyan was sentenced yesterday to 6 days in county jail, 3 years of probation and 300 hours of community service.
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