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Casden Properties Vice President, 14 Others
Plead in Illegal Campaign Financing Scheme

October 14, 2004
Contacts: Joe Scott, Director of Communications
Sandi Gibbons, Public Information Officer
Jane Robison, News Secretary
(213) 974-3525

LOS ANGELES – A vice president of Casden Properties, LLC, and 14 subcontractors for the firm pleaded no contest today on an amended indictment charging them with one count each of money laundering in a scheme to violate City of Los Angeles campaign financing laws.

John Archibald, 54 (dob 10-30-49), of Simi Valley, and the 14 co-defendants entered their pleas to the misdemeanor charge before Superior Court Judge Michael Johnson and were sentenced to various fines ranging from $1,000 up to $21,700, said Deputy District Attorneys Juliet Schmidt and Ricardo Ocampo of the Public Integrity Division who prosecuted the case. All were placed on three years probation and ordered not to be involved in any political fund-raising during that time.

“This case sends a clear message that people who violate the integrity of the elective process will be held accountable,” said District Attorney Steve Cooley. He added that while this case has been resolved, any additional information we receive will be pursued.

Archibald and the other defendants were charged in a Nov. 21, 2003 Grand Jury indictment with one count of conspiracy to commit Los Angeles City campaign law violations between Sept. 1, 2000, and May 10, 2001. In exchange for today’s plea, the felony conspiracy count was dismissed.

The indictment alleged Archibald organized efforts to raise illegal campaign contributions for candidates for city elections. The indictment named the candidates as mayoral candidate Kathleen Connell, City Council members Jack Weiss and Wendy Greuel, and City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo. It was alleged Archibald contacted or met with other defendants to “improperly solicit illegal campaign contributions.”

According to the indictment, the other defendants were to “improperly solicit their employees, family members, friends and associates and others to make unlawful campaign contributions…and to illegally reimburse each employee and other person for the amount of such contributions.” The indictment alleged that the contributions exceeded the $1,000 campaign finance limit for contributions of an individual to any single candidate or campaign. None of the alleged recipients of the campaign contributions was indicted.

Archibald entered a guilty plea through his attorney and was ordered to complete 250 hours of community service and fined $1,000. Schmidt said the office wanted Archibald to be personally accountable and “any fine we believe would have been paid by Casden Properties.”

The others defendants are all subcontractors for Casden Properties, most of them working on the La Brea project. They have contacts with Casden Properties in amounts ranging from $500,000 to $9 million. Their businesses are spread throughout Southern California.

The other defendants are: Anthony Boozel, 48 (dob 1-16-1955), of TBCI, a concrete company, was ordered to pay $8,200 in fines and penalties; Brian Larrabure, 43 (dob 1-4-1960), of BLF, a framing company, was ordered to pay $14,950; Jerry Hein, 56 (dob 9-17-1947), of Desert Roofing, was ordered to pay $8,200; Bruce Shaffer, 61 (dob 10-11-42), of Starlight Showers and Doors, was ordered to pay $16,200; James Gates, 46 (dob 2-26-57), of Capital Drywall, was ordered to pay $8,200; and Randall Carpenter, 59 (dob 8-8-1953), Design Masonry, was ordered to pay $5,500.

Additional defendants are: Gerard Lundgren, 60 (dob 3-6-1943), of Freedom Paint, was ordered to pay $21,700; David Mercer, 56 (dob 9-3-1947), of HMK Engineering, was ordered to pay $10,900; William Isaac, 87 (dob 12-1-1915), of Isaac Construction, was ordered to pay $10,900; Ed Hutcherson, 50 (dob 4-26-1953), of Seems Plumbing, was ordered to pay $9,550; Simon Rubin, 61 (dob 6-17-1942), of Simon’s Electric, was ordered to pay $2,800; and Isaac Zaharoni, 63 (dob 5-9-1940), of Zaharoni Industries, was ordered to pay $8,200.

Charged in separate complaints stemming from the same allegations of collecting contributions and reimbursing employees were Steven Acosta, 47 (dob 5-1-1957), a CPA who owns Acosta & Co. in Los Angeles, and Dimitri Triphon, 53 (dob 3-16-1951), a Beverly Hills plumber. Both men pleaded no contest to one misdemeanor court of money laundering. Acosta was ordered to pay $21,700 and Triphon was ordered to pay $12,000.

All the defendants are facing additional fines by the city Ethics Commission and the state Fair Political Practices Commission.


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