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Robert Rizzo expected to plead guilty to federal income tax scam

Courts and the JudiciaryCrime, Law and JusticeJustice SystemCity of Bell Public Corruption Scandal

Former Bell City Administrator Robert Rizzo is expected in court Monday and is expected to plead guilty to filing false tax returns.

From 2005 through 2010, the year he was ousted from his job after his salary was revealed, Rizzo claimed more than $770,000 in phantom losses on his tax returns, further inflating his take-home pay.

He is already facing 10 to 12 years in prison for his role in a corruption scandal, but agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to file false tax returns and to cooperate with federal authorities.

FULL COVERAGE: Corruption in Bell

Angela Spaccia, Rizzo’s second in command in Bell who was convicted last month of 11 counts of corruption, has not yet been charged in the federal tax case.

James Spertus, Rizzo’s attorney, said Spaccia was expected to be indicted and that Rizzo had agreed to testify against her.

When Rizzo pleaded no contest to 69 counts of corruption in October, Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy said she would allow him to serve his sentence in federal prison concurrently with the time he receives on the tax charges. He faces up to 12 years on the corruption charges. 

Spertus said he has no deal with federal prosecutors for Rizzo’s sentence.

“Mr. Rizzo’s sentencing in state and federal court reflect his desire to accept responsibility, pay restitution and make things right,” Spertus said.

Rizzo has already signed a plea agreement, Spertus said.

Rizzo faces a maximum sentence of eight years in federal prison.

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Twitter: @gottliebjeff

jeff.gottlieb@latimes.com

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