Southern California breaking news and trends

Defendant no. 5 surrenders in Coliseum scandal, pleads not guilty

AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

A fifth defendant has surrendered in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum corruption scandal.

Leopold Caudillo Jr., who, according to his attorney, was on a personal trip to Russia when the indictment was issued, turned himself in to authorities on Thursday and pleaded not guilty to one count of criminal conflict of interest.

41-year-old Caudillo, a former technology manager at the Coliseum, is accused of directing thousands of dollars in venue business to a external firm he co-founded.

His parents posted his $20,000 bail. The District Attorney's office says Caudillo could face a three-year sentence if convicted.

On Wednesday, Patrick Lynch, the Coliseum's ex-general manager, pleaded guilty to conflict of interest charges in a deal to avoid a trial and possible lengthy prison sentence.

Only one of the six men charged last week remains at large.

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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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