A South Florida lobbyist has pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges in an FBI sting operation involving the mayors of two cities, kickbacks and sham grants.
Richard Candia faces about two years in prison after his guilty plea Wednesday in Miami federal court. The Miami Herald reports that Candia admitted involvement in a grant scheme with the mayors of Sweetwater and Miami Lakes designed to line their pockets rather than benefit the two cities.
Candia will be a key witness in the July trial of suspended Miami Lakes Mayor Michael Pizzi, who has pleaded not guilty. Former Sweetwater Mayor Manny Marono pleaded guilty previously to fraud charges and was sentenced to more than three years in prison.
FBI agents posed as corrupt businessmen with access to grant money.