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

L.A. Memorial Coliseum Executives Arrested

Both Coliseum executives resigned after accusations of stealing public funds.

Two former L.A. Memorial Coliseum Executives, Patrick Lynch and Todd DeStefano, were arrested Thursday for mismanaging public funds. The owner of Go Ventures Inc., Reza Gerami, was also arrested for conspiring with Lynch and DeStefano.

Coliseum executives arrested Thursday.
Coliseum executives arrested Thursday.

According to the District Attorney Office spokeswoman, Jane Robison, Lynch and DeStefano were arrested by District Attorney investigators.

The basis for their arrests have not been publicly announced. However, DeStefano's attorneys, Richard G. Hirsch and Michael D. Nasatir, revealed that he was named in a grand jury indictment.

The Coliseum Commission sued Lynch and DeStefano in November for taking public funds for their own use.

Lynch resigned last year after the Coliseum accused him of stealing thousands of dollars of revenue. DeStefano also resigned.

Coliseum Commissioner and Los Angeles City Councilman Bernard Parks claimed that the two executives took over $1 million that belonged to the Coliseum from August 2006 to January 2011.

DeStefano's lawyer stood by his client's innocence, re-directing the blame at the Coliseum's inability to properly maintain funds.

Hirsch said, "Todd DeStefano did exactly what Coliseum Commissioners asked and expected him to do - make the Coliseum and Sports Arena a profitable enterprise. Rather than owning up to their failure to manage the Coliseum, a group of commissioners with the help of the district attorney are trying to turn attention away from their own mismanagement by manipulating the facts to support unfounded criminal charges against Mr. DeStefano."

DeStefano's attorneys said that they hope he will appear in court this Friday.

Los Angeles City Controller, Wendy Greuel, hope that the audit will bring transparency by delving deeper into the Coliseum's finances.


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