Photo via Shutterstock
Photo via Shutterstock

The former chief of police for the Port of Los Angeles pleaded guilty Wednesday to federal tax charges and making a false statement to the FBI.

Ronald Jerome Boyd, 58, of Torrance, admitted to lying to the FBI during a probe of his financial dealings, committing tax evasion and failing to file complete income taxes for 2011.

His trial was expected to begin this week but was delayed while a plea agreement was brokered.

“In an effort to resolve the matter, we agreed to come to the table,” Boyd’s attorney, Vicki Podberesky, said outside court. “This really was a tax case at its heart. Had he been more careful, this wouldn’t have happened.”

Boyd, who was chief of police at the busiest container port in the country for more than a decade, retired from the force in November.

In the initial 16-count indictment issued last April, Boyd was accused of “honest services” wire fraud alleging he operated a scheme to defraud the city and the Harbor Department of their right to his honest services.

He was alleged to have hidden his links to a software company that he helped to obtain a contract with the port.

As a result of his guilty plea, Boyd faces up to 11 years in federal prison, with sentencing set for July 25. However, prosecutors agreed to ask for no more than about two years in prison and about $500,000 in restitution to resolve the tax counts.

Federal prosecutors alleged that Boyd, who once worked as a valet to singer Ray Charles, defrauded the city “by means of bribery and kickbacks” and provided confidential information about the port to the software vendor.

He was accused of helping the software developer obtain a contract with the city of Los Angeles while forming an undisclosed joint venture with the company and then lying about it in an interview with federal agents.

—City News Service

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