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Assessment Bribe

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Condo developer admits bribing official for tax helpEdit

The Associated Press, September 2007

PHILADELPHIA -- A Philadelphia condo developer admits he gave a $20,000 bribe to a city real-estate assessor to lower his property-tax bill.

According to court papers, James Campenella said he wanted to avoid the time and money involved in an appeal.

The city assessor, James F. Lynch, is due in court next week for a plea hearing.

Prosecutors say Lynch went to bat for Campenella with the city tax board, asking the board to lower the assessed value of Campanella's properties by millions of dollars.

The board agreed -- netting Campanella tax savings that The Philadelphia Inquirer estimates at $116,000 annually.

Both men face up to five years in prison.

First published on September 9, 2007 at 9:24 am


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