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Former Los Angeles City Councilman Mitchell Englander was sentenced to 14 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $15,000 after lying to FBI agents about his involvement in an ongoing racketeering case.

Englander is the first to be sentenced in the case that also involves former L.A. City Councilman Jose Huizar and former deputy mayor George Esparza.

On separate occasions in Las Vegas and while at a Palm Springs golf tournament, Englander accepted more than $50,000 worth of cash and gifts from a businessman alleged to be involved in the case. Englander later admitted to lying about his involvement to FBI agents in both 2017 and 2018.

Englander’s request for probation was declined by Judge John F. Walter and prosecutors wrote that Englander “illicitly cashed in on his status as a purported public servant in casino bathrooms and through VIP bottle service, luxury dinners, and behind hotel room doors.”

Former Councilman Huizar, who served with Englander from 2011 to 2018, was arrested on June 23, 2020 and charged with more than 50 counts of allegedly violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act and accepting more than $1.5 million in bribes from a Chinese businessman who owned a hotel in Huizar’s district.

Huizar’s trial date is currently scheduled for June 22.

 

LA Weekly