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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
Southern California

Fifth Defendant of Coliseum Schemes Surrenders in Court

Todd DeStefano is involved in a wrongful death suit and a fifth defendant, Leopold Caudillo, surrendered in court Thursday.

A fifth defendant indicted in the bribery and kickback schemes of Coliseum officials surrendered in court Thursday.

Former technical manager Leopold Caudillo is guilty for purportedly directing stadium business to benefit a firm he established, H-H Tech.

He and the other defendants will return to court on Monday.

L.A. Memorial Coliseum former general manager Patrick Lynch plead guilty to a conflict of interest charge Wednesday (Photo courtesy ATVN).
L.A. Memorial Coliseum former general manager Patrick Lynch plead guilty to a conflict of interest charge Wednesday (Photo courtesy ATVN).
The Coliseum's former general manager, Todd DeStefano, is part of a wrongful death suit against the Coliseum Commission.

The wrongful death suit by a teenage girl's parents involves the death of their fifteen year old daughter who attended a Los Angeles Coliseum rave in June. She died of an Ecstasy overdose.

The judge has yet to set a date for the trial.

DeStefano pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of conflict of interest Wednesday.

Patrick Lynch, 55, is one of six people indicted in an alleged bribery and kickback scheme.

Lynch was accused of knowingly permitting and accepting bribes concerning raves and other events held at the Coliseum. He will have to pay $385,000 in restitution to the location within 45 days.

He is expected to be placed on three years’ probation and complete 1,500 hours of community service. However, Lynch will not be formally sentenced until former Coliseum events manager Todd DeStefano, Reza Gerami, and founder of rave promoter Insomniac Events, Pasquale Rotella, are tried.

Lynch’s attorney Tony Capozzola expressed satisfaction with the sentence, telling reporters that it is “very fair,” and that “justice was served today.”

Lynch’s plea deal does not require him to testify in future proceedings; however attorneys for DeStefano and Rotella, who are due back in court on Monday, told reporters they want to call him to the stand.

DeStefano is charged with 15 counts of embezzlement by a public or private officer, five counts of conflict of interest, two counts of accepting a bribe, and one count of conspiracy to commit embezzlement.

One of his lawyers, Michael Nasatir, expressed hope that Lynch’s guilty plea will “exonerate Mr. DeStefano and show that he has done nothing wrong.”

Gary Jay Kaufman, representing Rotella, also retains that his client has “done nothing wrong.” Rotella is also charged with multiple counts of embezzlement, and one count each of bribing a public employee and conspiracy to commit embezzlement.

The prosecution contends that Gerami and Rotella had agreements to pay DeStefano personally for lower rates for use of the Coliseum. DeStefano allegedly made $1.8 million off of these deals. He is also accused of allowing commercial and movie filming in the Coliseum to pay his own private company, LAC Events.

The prosecution also alleges that Lynch was aware of these deals, and received $385,000 from Estrada, who owned the janitorial company which was responsible for cleaning the Coliseum.

According to the Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit, these underhand deals may have been occurring since 1998.

DeStefano, Rotella and Gerami will faces charges in court on Monday.


[Correction: A previous version of this story stated Todd DeStefano pleaded guilty and owned Go Ventures.  This was not accurate.]

RELATED:

Report: Committee Members Charging Taxpayers for Fill-up

Coliseum Raves

Neon Tommy: Rave Producers, Former L.A. Execs Charged in Scandal

COMMENTS

This story has 2 serious factual errors. DeStefano did not plead guilty and does not own Go Ventures. Please check your sources and correct this ASAP.

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