Valento agrees to guilty plea, 30 months in prison

A Burbank police officer has agreed to plead guilty to one count of making false statements to federal investigators during a probe into an alleged scheme involving his girlfriend and her estranged husband.

Anthony Valento, a 17-year-veteran of the Burbank Police Department, agreed to 30 months in prison and three years of supervised release, along with a $100 special assessment, according to the agreement, which was filed in U.S. District Court Friday.

The agreement still needs to be approved by a judge.

Valento declined to comment on the agreement and referred all comments to his attorney, who could not be reached immediately.

The officer was indicted in November after allegedly agreeing to attempt to influence prosecutors to reduce or dismiss criminal charges against his girlfriend’s estranged husband, Jeremy Bassett, in exchange for money for his girlfriend, Gayle Bassett, as part of the pair’s divorce settlement, records show.

The charges against Jeremy Bassett were dropped in October.

Valento was also charged with lying to federal officials about his relationship with Bassett, and defrauding the city of Burbank by allegedly falsifying records and disabling his patrol car’s GPS device to make it appear as though he was working when he was not, according to the indictment.

According to the agreement, federal prosecutors have agreed to drop the remaining charges, including one count of federal program bribery and four counts of wire fraud.

Valento, who has been on paid administrative leave since July, has also agreed to resign from the Burbank police force at or before his sentencing.

Valento’s change-of-plea hearing is scheduled for next week, court records show.

Gayle Bassett was also charged with one count of lying to federal investigators. Court records show her trial is slated to begin in April.


Follow Alene Tchekmedyian on Google+ and on Twitter: @atchek.


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