A Los Angeles County official was sentenced Tuesday for accepting bribes from a Newbury Park contractor, according to the Justice Department.
Upland resident Mohammad Tirmazi, an official in L.A. County’s Internal Services Department, was sentenced Wednesday to 12 months and one day in federal prison for accepting nearly $300,000 in bribes from Enrique Contreras, owner of Tel-Pro Voice & Data. Tirmazi has been ordered to pay $420,010 in restitution to the county and the Internal Revenue Service.
Tirmazi worked for L.A. County, first as a supervising telecom engineer and beginning in 2016 as a section manager for the voice video and application division. From 2014 to 2016, the owner of Tel-Pro paid Tirmazi with cash, checks and gifts totaling $299,707. In exchange, Tirmazi approved change orders requested by Contreras for work that did not occur and materials that were not used on county projects.
Tirmazi admitted in his plea agreement that he while he considered Tel-Pro’s work to be “shoddy,” he purposely overlooked the poor performance because of the illicit financial arrangement.
In May 2019, Contreras pleaded guilty to bribery and submitting a false tax return. He admitted in his plea agreement that he failed to report $636,454 of income he received from his improper deductions of bribe payments and other personal expenses. In his plea agreement, the Newbury Park resident also admitted to bribing two county officials — Tirmazi and Palmdale resident Thomas Shepos, a public official formerly employed by the county’s Real Estate Division.
Shepos pleaded guilty in November 2018 to accepting bribes. He is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 7, while Contreras’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 27.