Contractors sentenced to prison for defrauding L.A. housing agency

Two brothers who participated in a scheme to defraud the Los Angeles housing authority of money earmarked for disabled, low-income residents were sentenced Monday to one year and nine months in prison. Bennett A. Taracena, 31, and Diego L. Taracena, 36, each pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy stemming from a bribery case involving their brother, a construction supervisor at the housing authority from 2003 to 2007. Federal prosecutors said Victor Taracena, 41, steered nearly $527,000 in construction contracts to four sham companies controlled by his brothers. The contracts included construction of wheelchair ramps and the installation of bathroom railings in housing projects. The work was never performed, Assistant U.S. Atty. Bayron Gilchrist said. “There were a number of people that needed things that they did not get because of the defendants’ actions,” he told the judge.

L.A. Times

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