Mitchell Englander Agrees to Plead Guilty to Federal Charge Related to Obstructing Public Corruption Investigation

by L.J. Williamson

Former Los Angeles City Councilman Mitchell "Mitch" Englander filed a plea agreement this morning in federal court, pleading guilty to one count of scheming to falsify material facts.

Federal criminal charges against Englander stem from obstruction of a public corruption investigation related to his acceptance of gifts from a businessman during trips to Las Vegas and Palm Springs.

In the plea agreement, Englander pled to a scheme to cover up cash payments, expensive meals, escort services and other gifts offered to him from a businessman who operated companies in Los Angeles relating to major development projects.

 The agreement also states that Englander knowingly and willfully falsified and concealed material facts pertaining to this federal public corruption investigation

According to the Department of Justice, after he learned about the FBI’s public corruption investigation, Englander sent an encrypted message to "Businessperson A" offering to reimburse for portions of the Las Vegas trip. By that point, Businessperson A had already begun cooperating with the FBI's public corruption investigation and making recordings of exchanges with Englander.

In the plea deal Englander also admitted to making false statements to the FBI and federal prosecutors on three separate occasions. These included telling investigators that he and Businessperson A had not discussed the FBI or its investigation, that he did not tell anyone what to say to the FBI, and that he encouraged Businessperson A to “be transparent, and share everything” with the FBI.

The plea deal knocks down the maximum sentence Englander faces to five years in federal prison. Prior to the deal, Englander faced a maximum of 50 years.

The Department of Justice said the case against Englander is part of an ongoing public corruption investigation.



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