Southern California breaking news and trends

Ex-general manager of L.A. Coliseum pleads guilty to conflict of interest

LOS ANGELES MEMORIAL COLISEUM

Photo by Rick Samuelson via Flickr Creative Commons

In a move to avoid a possible extended prison sentence, Patrick Lynch, the former general manager of Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, has pleaded guilty to one criminal count of conflict of interest. 

The indictment alleged financial impropriety in the management of the historic, tax-payer owned stadium -- he was believed to have had a lucrative kickback deal with a maintenance provider.

The plea, entered Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, came with three years probation, an agreement to pay $385,000 in restitution, and 1,500 hours of community service. In exchange for the plea, prosecutors dropped other felony charges against him.

Two rave promoters, two contractors, and another former Coliseum executive were also named in a 29-count grand jury indictment that includes corruption allegations of embezzlement, bribery, conspiracy and conflict of interest.

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3 more revealed in the LA Coliseum scandal

LOS ANGELES MEMORIAL COLISEUM

Photo by Rick Samuelson via Flickr Creative Commons

The L.A. Memorial Coliseum scandal claims another three people after the indictment was unsealed Friday following yesterday's triple arrest, the L.A. Times reports.

Pasquale Rotella, a rave producer with Insomniac Inc. was named, as was former Coliseum technology manager Leopold Caudillo Jr. and ex-stadium contractor Tony Estrada.

Reza Gerami, Patrick Lynch, and Todd DeStefano were taken into custody Thursday.

 

The district attorney's office led a 13-month investigation prompted by a Times corruption report involving millions of dollars in questionable financial dealings.

The felony indictment accused former executives and concert promoters of an embezzlement scheme including consipiracy, bribery, side deals and various other conflicts of interest.

 

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Rave company exec and two former venue managers arrested in L.A. Coliseum scandal

monopoly man money mural venice beach coliseum investigation

Photo by ToGa Wanderings via Flickr Creative Commons

A rave company's chief executive and two former Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum execs were arrested Thursday in connection with a number of investigations into questionable financial dealings.

The D.A.'s office says charges were not immediately disclosed, notes the L.A. Times. However, a spokesperson from D.A. Steve Cooley's office released the names of the individuals arrested:

  • Patrick Lynch, the former longtime general manager of the Coliseum and the companion Sports Arena, was arrested at his home in Torrance.
  • Todd DeStefano, the former events manager at the Coliseum, was arrested at his friend's home in Venice.
  • Reza Gerami, the chief executive of the rave promotion company Go Ventures, was arrested at his home in Malibu.

Last year, the three were sued for more than $1 million by the Coliseum Commission -- a joint-powers authority that oversees the taxpayer-owned complex -- alleging they siphoned off revenues.

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Distribute suitcases of cash, get investigated: a Coliseum case study in union payments

monopoly man money mural venice beach coliseum investigation

Photo by ToGa Wanderings via Flickr Creative Commons

Making union payments via suitcases of $100 bills is a practice frowned upon by the U.S. Labor Department, it turns out. Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum officials are learning this the hard way, as they have become the target of a criminal investigation in an IATSE wage payment scandal that saw more than $1 million in cash passed to the union without controls on its distribution, explains the L.A. Times. The Coliseum Commission may be responsible for hundreds of thousands of dollars in back payroll and withholding taxes.

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