Developer will plead guilty in Los Angeles corruption case

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A real estate developer accused of bribing a Los Angeles city council member and other officials has agreed to plead guilty to a federal racketeering conspiracy charge.

The plea agreement by George Chiang, 41, of Los Angeles was filed Wednesday in federal court. He could face up to 20 years in prison.

In the agreement, Chiang acknowleges that while serving as a consultant to a China-based real estate development company, he helped funnel tens of thousands of dollars worth of cash and services to a councilman, a relative and several associates of the member and a city employee who later became a deputy mayor and then Chiang's business partner.

In return, the council member — identified in court papers only as “Councilmember A" — agreed to support the company’s development project, prosecutors said.

Chiang is the third person to reach a plea agreement in an ongoing corruption investigation.

In March, former councilman Mitchell Englander agreed to plea guilty to obstructing an investigation into his acceptance of tens of thousands of dollars in cash, female escort services and other perks.

A political fundraiser, Justin Jangwoo Kim, agreed to plead guilty to coordinating a $500,000 bribe in 2017.