Crime & Justice

Bell scandal: Kingpin Robert Rizzo gets prison term in tax case

This March 9, 2011 file image shows former Bell City Administrator Robert Rizzo listening in court in Los Angeles. Rizzo, who masterminded a corruption scheme that paid exorbitant salaries to city officials, pleaded no contest, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, to all 69 charges brought against him.
This March 9, 2011 file image shows former Bell City Administrator Robert Rizzo listening in court in Los Angeles. Rizzo, who masterminded a corruption scheme that paid exorbitant salaries to city officials, pleaded no contest, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, to all 69 charges brought against him.
Irfan Khan/AP

The man authorities say masterminded a scheme that fleeced the small Los Angeles suburb of Bell out of millions of dollars has been sentenced to 33 months in prison for income tax evasion.

City News Service says former Bell City Manager Robert Rizzo was sentenced Monday by a federal judge. The 60-year-old Rizzo pleaded guilty in January.

RELATED: Former Bell assistant manager Angela Spaccia sentenced to 11 years, 8 months in prison

On Wednesday Rizzo faces sentencing in state court on 69 counts of fraud, misappropriation of public funds and other charges for his role in the Bell scandal. He pleaded no contest in that case in October.

When he was fired by Bell in 2010 Rizzo had an annual salary and benefits package of $1.5 million.

Authorities say he dodged nearly $300,000 in taxes by creating a corporation that claimed phony businesses losses.