Tran

Former Rosemead Mayor John Tran, in a 2009 photo. (Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times / May 23, 2009)

A former Rosemead mayor pleaded guilty Monday to attempted witness tampering and making false statements to a federal agent in connection with a proposed development in the city.

John Tran, 38, received more than $38,000 from the developer under the guise of loans between 2005 and 2007, according to the plea agreement.

He faces up to 25 years in prison when he is sentenced in April.

According to court documents, the developer, who was not named, bought a vacant lot for $1.1 million and planned to build offices. At the request of Tran and two city employees, however, the developer agreed to buy an adjacent lot for $700,000 and build a mixed-use project.

Between 2005 and 2007, while project approvals were pending, Tran would periodically visit the developer and demand money, according to the U.S. attorney's office. The developer eventually became a confidential informant in the federal investigation.

The developer gave Tran several cash payments and checks during that period, according to the plea agreement. After August 2007, the developer refused to make more payments to Tran, according to the agreement.

Tran was voted out of office in 2009. The project, which became the subject of the federal investigation, never received final approval.

As part of the plea agreement, Tran acknowledged that he instructed the developer to give false testimony to a federal grand jury about the payments, and that he lied to the FBI when he told agents he never accepted money from the developer other than campaign contributions.

 

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