Palmdale’s mayor, Jim Ledford, is the subject of a criminal complaint that alleges that consultants paid him more than $500,000. According to the District Attorney, Ledford did not disclose the payments as required. The complaint alleges that the consultants set up phony companies to make payments for work Ledford didn’t perform. Two consultants who worked for the city now face embezzlement charges.
Investigators say the consultants paid Ledford $5,200 monthly between 2009 and 2017. In addition to the embezzlement charge, the consultants also face charges of conspiracy and misappropriation of public funds. Ledford himself faces charges of conspiracy, conflict of interest and perjury.
Prosecutors say the consultants used a shell non-profit company to bill the city for work. The consultants then directed the payments to Ledford. Prosecutors claim that Ledford received about $483,000 from one company. They say he also received funds from other companies using a similar arrangement.
As part of the scheme, prosecutors say that Ledford supported a large increase in the value of the contract for one of the contractors. Ledford failed to disclose the payments on economic disclosure statements he filed annually. If convicted, Ledford also faces up to four years in prison.
He will be arraigned on the charges in Los Angeles Superior Court on July 26. Ledford has been part of the Palmdale city government for more than 30 years, and has served as the mayor since 1992. A deposition related to a civil lawsuit revealed Ledford’s connection to the consulting firms in 2013.
Palmdale Embezzlement Attorney
The Court treats embezzlement charges – especially those involving the public trust – seriously. If you’re facing embezzlement charges of any kind, you need the assistance of an experienced attorney like Robert Helfend.
Mr. Helfend practices criminal defense exclusively and has defended thousands of Californians in his nearly 35 years of practice. Don’t settle for inexperienced counsel or attorneys who won’t aggressively defend your rights and freedom in court.
Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273-5611 for an immediate consultation on your Los Angeles County embezzlement case.
Photo Credit: Terry Freedman, via Flickr.com