Lawmaker pleads guilty to fraud, bribery

October 05, 2012

An Arizona lawmaker and former Tempe city councilman has pleaded guilty to fraud and accepting bribes.

State Representative Ben Arredondo admitted in court Friday that he took a bribe when he was a Tempe city councilman. He is accused of soliciting thousands of dollars in event tickets from a company doing business with Tempe. Undercover FBI agents had posed as company representatives.

Arredondo also pleaded guilty to a fraud charge. Investigators say he set up a scholarship fund for his relatives but told donors the scholarships were for other students.

Sentencing is set for January. The plea agreement recommends Arredondo serve at least 27 months in prison. The conviction means he must resign from the legislature. He is the fourth lawmaker to resign this year amid scandal.

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