The U.S. attorney's office announced this afternoon that it has added additional charges against Ted G. Loza, who was D.C. Council member Jim Graham's chief of staff before he was arrested last fall.
On Sept. 10, Loza was charged in an indictment with two counts of bribery. In a superseding indictment filed today, prosecutors are adding a count of conspiring to commit bribery, an additional count of bribery, a count of extortion and a count of making false statements, according to the U.S. attorney's office.
Prosecutors allege that Loza, who worked for Graham (D-Ward 1) for about a decade until last fall, engaged in a "longterm scheme to receive a stream of benefits in exchange for the performance of official acts as a staff member for a D.C. Council Member."
"The superseding Indictment also alleges that Loza extorted money from an individual by threatening him with economic harm and that he made a false statement when he failed to report certain gifts on his 2008 Financial Disclosure Statement," according to a statement from prosecutors.
According to the new indictment, Loza accepted more than $30,000 in benefits, including cash, trips, transportation and other gifts from officials connected to the taxicab industry. In exchange, according to prosecutors, Loza pushed legislation that was favorable to the industry.
Loza is scheduled to go on trial Oct. 10. No charges have been filed against Graham in the case.
In the initial indictment, Loza was accused of accepting $1,500 in cash payments from Abdulaziz Kamus, an advocate for the Ethiopian taxi community, in exchange for trying to influence taxi legislation.
But the new indictment spells out far more serious and extensive allegations. As part of his bribery charge, the indictment said Loza and an unnamed co-conspirator "corruptly" demanded or accepted or agreed to accept the following benefits from Kamus or others connected with the industry between August 2004 and November 2008:
An airline ticket to Ethiopia valued at $1,200 in August 2004
Sheraton hotel accommodations valued at $7,000 in Addis Ababa Ethiopia in August 2004
- A $2,000 cash payment in April 2007
- $500 in cash in November 2007
- A trip to Ethiopia valued at $8,000 in March 2008
- $500 in cash in June 2008
- $2,000 in cash in July 2008
- Parking in Adams Morgan valued at $3,000 in August 2008
- $4,000 in cash in August 2008
- Accommodations at a Hilton Hotel in Addis Ababa Ethiopia in August 2008
- Hotel accommodations in Miami valued at $500 in September 2008
- $500 in cash in November 2008
- A trip to Miami valued at $2,000 in November 2008
- An airline ticket valued at $2,000 from Ethiopia to Finland in November 2008
This post has been updated since it was first published.