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County Assessor investigation: ex-appraiser arrested, charged with corruption

Scott Schenter (Multnomah County Sheriff's Office, Oregon)
May 21, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A former Los Angeles County appraiser was arrested and charged with corruption Monday. The arrest is part of an ongoing investigation into influence peddling in the L.A. County Assessor's Office.

Scott Schenter was charged Monday with 60 counts of corruption, including falsifying records and accounts. He was arrested in Hillsboro, Oregon, just outside of Portland. He was taken into custody at a relative's house. He was arrested by a US Marshals fugitive task force.

Schenter, 49, an Oregon resident, is accused of unlawfully lowering property value by more than $170 million while he worked for the county assessor's office from 1988 to 2011. He allegedly secured campaign contributions from the owners of those homes and businesses for Assessor John Noguez.

If convicted, Schenter faces up to 33 years in prison. He was held in Oregon's Multnomah County Jail and was expected to be in court Tuesday for an extradition hearing.

L.A. County District Attorney Steve Cooley said he doesn't believe Schenter's actions are isolated.

In April as part of the ongoing investigation, investigators searched the Huntington Park home of Noguez along with 11 other locations in both California and Arizona. They were looking for evidence of alleged bribery and fraud involving tens of thousands of dollars.

Noguez is suspected of under-assessing millions of dollars in property in return for thousands of dollars in campaign contributions and other money from property owners. His office at the County Hall of Administration was one of the locations searched.

Allegations are that in exchange for getting their multi-million-dollar property assessed at below market value, property owners paid Noguez. In return they allegedly got lower property taxes and saved themselves a lot of money.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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