A member of the Arizona House of Representatives was charged by a federal grand jury in the District of Arizona with bribery, fraud, attempted extortion, and false statements in connection with receiving more than $6,000 in tickets to sporting and special events while serving as a Tempe, Arizona City Council council member and member-elect of the Arizona House, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Special Agent in Charge James L. Turgal of the FBI’s Phoenix Field Office.
The indictment charges Paul Ben Arredondo, 63, of Tempe, with one count of
federal programs bribery, two counts of honest services mail fraud, one count of
attempted Hobbs Act extortion, and one count of making false statements.
Arredondo will be arraigned on May 30, 2012 in U.S. District Court for the
District of Arizona before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lawrence O. Anderson.
According to the indictment, Arredondo was a council member in Tempe for 16
years, until July 2010. He was elected to the Arizona House of Representatives
in November 2010. The indictment alleges that from February 2009 to November
2010, Arredondo accepted, agreed to accept, and solicited things of value from
representatives of a company whose purported business objective was to acquire
city-owned property in Tempe for real estate development purposes. The
representatives were, in fact, undercover agents with the FBI. According to the
indictment, Arredondo received from the undercover agents more than $6,000 worth
of tickets to sporting and other special events. Those tickets included 18
tickets for Arizona Diamondbacks baseball games valued at a total of
approximately $2,400 and four tickets to an American League Championship Series
baseball game valued at a total of approximately $1,225.
According to the indictment, in return for those tickets, Arredondo took and
agreed to take action in his capacity as a Tempe city council member and as a
member of the Arizona House of Representatives to facilitate the undercover
agents’ purported purchase of city-owned property and development project. The
indictment alleges that Arredondo brokered meetings between the undercover
agents and other public officials, divulged information regarding the city of
Tempe’s bidding process, and attempted to persuade other city officials to
approve the purported development project.
The indictment further alleges that Arredondo lied to the FBI about his
conduct during an interview in January 2012.
The federal programs bribery charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in
prison and a $250,000 fine. Each count of honest services mail fraud and
attempted extortion carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a
$250,000 fine. The false statement charge carries a maximum penalty of five
years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The indictment also contains a notice of
An indictment is merely a charge, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless
and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Edward T. Kang and Monique T.
Abrishami of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section, and Assistant
U.S. Attorney Frederick A. Battista of the District of Arizona. The case is
being investigated by the FBI’s Phoenix Field Office.
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