Federal Grand Jury Adds Additional Charges to Indictment Against Former City Council Chief of Staff Charged with Bribery
|U.S. Attorney’s Office April 01, 2010|
WASHINGTON, D.C.—A six-count superseding indictment was returned today by a federal grand jury charging Ted Giovanny Loza, 44, of Washington, D.C., with conspiracy, three counts of bribery, extortion, and false statements, announced United States Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr.; Assistant Director in Charge Shawn Henry, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Washington Field Office;and Chief Cathy L. Lanier, Metropolitan Police Department.
The original indictment, which was returned on September 10, 2009, charged Loza with two counts of bribery. Today’s superseding indictment adds counts charging Loza with a count of conspiring to commit bribery, an additional count of bribery, a count of extortion, and a count of making false statements. According to the superseding indictment, Loza engaged in a long-term scheme to receive a stream of benefits in exchange for the performance of official acts as a staff member for a D.C. Council Member. The superseding indictment also alleges that Loza extorted money from an individual by threatening him with economic harm and that he made a false statement when he failed to report certain gifts on his 2008 Financial Disclosure Statement.
The defendant will be arraigned in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia next week, and his trial is scheduled for October 2010.
As described in the indictment, Loza was employed as chief of staff by a member of the Council for the District of Columbia. According to the indictment, the defendant received cash, gifts, trips, and other things of value in exchange for the performance of official acts. Individuals with financial interests in the taxicab industry in Washington, D.C. engaged in repeated and longstanding corrupt efforts involving Loza to limit the number of taxicab company licenses issued in the District of Columbia and then to create an exception to that limitation that would benefit them. They first sought the enactment of a moratorium on the issuance of taxicab company licenses. Later, in cooperation with an FBI undercover agent, they sought the adoption of an exception (under the guise of an allowance for the issuance of licenses for companies using low-emission or “hybrid” vehicles) to that moratorium in an attempt to secure advantages in the D.C. taxicab industry. During the course of the scheme, the individuals provided a stream of valuable items to Loza, including, cash, trips, transportation, and other gifts. More than $30,000 worth of benefits were either given or offered to Loza. In return for these items, Loza allegedly performed official acts in his capacity as chief of staff to a council member, including promoting legislation favorable to those individuals with financial interests in the taxicab industry.
If convicted of the charges, Loza faces sentences of (1) up to five years’ incarceration and a fine of up to $250,000 for the crime of conspiracy; (2) up to 15 years’ incarceration and a fine of up to $250,000 on the three bribery charges; (3) up to 20 years’ incarceration and a fine of up to $250,000 for the crime of extortion; and (4) up to 180 days’ incarceration and a fine of up to $1,000 for the crime of false statements. Under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, Loza faces a likely sentence of between 41 and 51 months in prison.
In announcing the superseding indictment today, United States Attorney Machen, Assistant Director in Charge Henry, and Chief Lanier commended the work of FBI special agents on the case, Metropolitan Police Department Sergeant Andrew Struhar and Detective Joseph Sopata, and Assistant United States attorneys John Crabb Jr. and John Griffith, who are prosecuting the case.
An Indictment is merely a formal way of bringing charges against a defendant. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.