Hector Becerra, Los Angeles Times, Nov. 20
Former South Gate Treasurer Albert Robles was arrested Friday and charged with plundering $12 million over five years from the small working-class city, whose entire annual budget is $28 million.
A federal grand jury indicted Robles on 39 counts of money laundering, bribery, wire fraud and public corruption, alleging that he used his elected office and political influence to funnel money from a variety of city projects to family and friends between 1998 and last year.
Federal officials estimate that Robles, 39, personally received $1.2 million from the various schemes. Robles’ attorney declined to comment Friday, saying he had not reviewed the case.
The charges come a year after voters in the predominantly Latino city about seven miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles recalled Robles and several political allies from office.
The recall capped a tumultuous period in South Gate history in which one councilman was shot, Robles was accused of threatening to kill political opponents and the city neared bankruptcy.