Several times, the witness heard the well-connected gas company owner on the phone or heading to meetings with “the boys.”
The owner bragged that this network of law enforcement officials he began building in the late 1990s protected him while he played games with the Internal Revenue Service.
Lev Aslan Dermen’s influence allegedly reached the highest ranks in local law enforcement: Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca has now been implicated in Dermen’s multimillion-dollar fraud scheme, according to a court filing by the U.S. attorney’s office in Utah.
Federal prosecutors say the witness, Jacob Kingston, would testify that he once saw Dermen make a cash payment to Baca at a dinner. Kingston is cooperating with federal authorities after recently accepting a plea deal in the case.
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