State joins investigation into city of Industry

State Controller Betty Yee confirmed on Tuesday that her office would launch its own investigation into the finances of the City of Industry.

At the heart of the investigation are 20 years worth of municipal contracts that have generated more than $326 million in payments to businesses owned by former Mayor David Perez and his family over the last two decades.

Yee’s announcement came as the Los Angeles County Supervisors voted to for the county's district attorney to convene a grand jury investigation.

The LA Times reports the county investigation is going beyond the city limits.

“Supervisors Hilda Solis and Michael D. Antonovich proposed asking Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey to not only investigate "possible fraud, corruption and illegal activity on the part of the mayor and City Council of the City of Industry" but also any dealings that occurred in surrounding cities.

“The supervisors also requested that the controller look into the city's financial dealings, including examining the findings of a recent audit which found that companies owned by Industry's former mayor and his family members had benefited from lucrative city contracts.”

A recent audit conducted by KPMG at the behest of the city raised numerous questions about erroneous invoices and potential massive overpayments to the businesses, which include Zerep Management Corporation.

This is not the first time the D.A. has taken an interest in the lucrative contracts. The office launched an investigation six years ago, but ultimately brought no charges.

Read more about the latest probe here.


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