Hollywood Eye Doc Pleads Guilty To Conspiracy

FT. LAUDERDALE (CBS4) – A prominent Hollywood eye doctor with a number of high-powered political connections has pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge.

Alan Mendelsohn, 62, was snared in a federal corruption investigation into his state lobbying efforts.

Mendelsohn had been facing more than 30 counts of federal fraud, tax evasion along with obstruction of the IRS investigation.  In exchanged for his guilty plea, prosecutors dropped nearly three dozen of the charges; the conspiracy charge involves tax and corruption crimes.

Prosecutors said their investigation found that Mendelsohn, 52, had raised more than $2 million for lobbying and other services, funneled $82 thousand to former state Senator Mandy Dawson while she was in office and secretly diverted $330,000 for personal use. Mendelsohn also falsely claimed he had bribed top state officials to thwart an investigation into a shady insurance company.

Under federal sentencing guidelines he could get just under two years in prison. Sentencing was set for Feb. 17th.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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