Charges are refiled against former assessor John Noguez

Accused of accepting bribes

City News Service | 7/31/2020, midnight

More than six dozen felony charges have been refiled against former Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez and two others, alleging a scheme in which he took bribes in exchange for reduced property tax valuations, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced this week.

The case was originally filed in 2012 but dismissed in May by an appellate court on a technical violation.

Noguez and Mark McNeil, once an executive in the assessor’s office, and tax consultant Ramin Salari each face one count of conspiracy to commit grand theft and 14 counts each of misappropriation of public funds and grand theft.

Noguez also faces an additional three counts of accepting a bribe, two counts each of embezzlement by a public or private officer and perjury by declaration, as well as one count of public records violation.

Additionally, Salari faces seven counts of grand theft, nine counts of embezzlement by a public or private officer and 23 counts of bribing an executive officer. Noguez and Salari also are jointly charged with two counts of grand theft.

If convicted as charged, Noguez would face up to 36 years in state prison, and Salari and McNeil would face 59 and 22 years, respectively, behind bars.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges Monday and are scheduled to return to the downtown criminal courthouse on Aug. 12. Bail is set at $1.16 million for each defendant.

The alleged crimes took place from 1999 to 2011 and resulted in the loss of more than $10 million for the county, prosecutors said.

Noguez—who is also known by the name Juan Renaldo Rodriguez—McNeil and Salari had been awaiting trial when the case was dismissed.