LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A former mayor of Rosemead, who last year withdrew his guilty plea to a charge of accepting bribes while he was on the City Council, pleaded guilty today to federal charges of attempted witness tampering and lying to the FBI.
John Tran, 38, faces up to 25 years in federal prison when he is sentenced in April.
Tran was charged in an updated indictment in May with bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds, extortion, attempted witness tampering and making false statements to a government agency.
Tran's attorney, Michael Zweiback, successfully argued last December before U.S. District Judge Dale S. Fischer that key background information about the chief witness in the case was not disclosed to the defense prior to Tran's plea, which the judge allowed Tran to withdraw.
According to prosecutors, a property developer made a series of payments to Tran, who first approached the developer at Rosemead City Hall. Between 2005 and 2007, the developer made cash payments totaling $38,000 in exchange for Tran's promise to help obtain permits for a development project, court documents state.
After the payments were made, Tran was voted out of office, the city never approved the project, and Tran never returned any of the cash, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Tran admitted in his plea agreement to instructing the developer to give false testimony to a federal grand jury and to lying to the FBI when he told investigators that he never accepted money from the developer other than campaign contributions of no more than $2,000.
Tran was elected to the Rosemead City Council in 2005 and was mayor of the