LOS ANGELES – A true estate developer and a single of his businesses had been identified guilty by a jury currently of federal criminal fees for providing $500,000 in income to then-Los Angeles City Councilman José Huizar and his specific assistant in exchange for their support in resolving a labor organization’s charm of their downtown Los Angeles growth challenge.
Dae Yong Lee, a.k.a. “David Lee,” 57, of Bel Air, and 940 Hill LLC, a Lee-controlled business, just about every were being found responsible of 3 felonies: 1 count of sincere providers wire fraud, one count of bribery, and one particular rely of falsification of records in federal investigations.
According to evidence offered at his 9-working day demo, Lee, a business genuine estate developer, was the majority owner of 940 Hill LLC and was scheduling on making a combined-use growth positioned at 940 South Hill Street in downtown Los Angeles. The improvement was to include 14,000 square feet of business room and much more than 200 residential units.
In August 2016, soon after a labor firm submitted an charm that prevented the 940 Hill task from progressing as a result of the city’s acceptance process, Lee referred to as Justin Jangwoo Kim, a Huizar fundraiser, to ask for Huizar’s assist in dealing with the attractiveness. At the time, Huizar was the chairman of the city’s Organizing and Land Use Administration (PLUM) Committee, a overall body that oversaw quite a few of the city’s most important professional and residential initiatives.
In September 2016, George Esparza, then Huizar’s unique assistant, knowledgeable Kim that Huizar would not help the 940 Hill undertaking for totally free and would call for a money advantage. In 2017, following numerous months of bribe negotiations, Lee supplied dollars totaling $500,000 to Kim to produce to Huizar and Esparza, together with in a liquor box.
Two several years following having to pay the bribe, Lee and 940 Hill LLC impeded a federal prison investigation by altering accounting and tax records to falsely categorize the $500,000 bribe as a legit enterprise expenditure for resolving the labor group charm.
United States District Judge John F. Walter scheduled a September 19 sentencing listening to, at which time Lee will encounter a statutory utmost sentence of 20 yrs in federal jail for the honest services wire fraud count, 20 a long time for the obstruction count, and 10 several years for the bribery rely. Defendant 940 Hill LLC will face a statutory maximum fantastic of $1.5 million or two times the gross achieve or gross loss from the offense.
Kim pleaded responsible in June 2020 to a federal bribery offense. Esparza pleaded responsible in July 2020 to one rely of racketeering conspiracy. Both equally adult men are cooperating with the investigation and are scheduled to be sentenced in September.
The subsequent scheduled demo in this circumstance is against Shen Zhen New Earth I LLC, an entity owned by genuine estate developer Wei Huang – a further defendant in the circumstance. Each defendants are billed with bribing Huizar similar to one more downtown Los Angeles progress undertaking and are scheduled to go to demo on Oct 18. Huang remains a fugitive.
Huizar and former Los Angeles Deputy Mayor Raymond Chan are scheduled to go to demo February 21, 2023, on federal rates alleging they conspired to violate the Racketeer Motivated and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. Huizar allegedly agreed to accept at minimum $1.5 million in illicit financial gains and faces dozens of extra federal prison expenses.
Assistant United States Legal professional Mack E. Jenkins, Main of the General public Corruption and Civil Rights Part, and Assistant United States Attorneys Veronica Dragalin and Cassie Palmer, also of the Community Corruption and Civil Rights Segment, are prosecuting this scenario.
Any member of the general public who has facts related to this or any other public corruption make any difference in the Metropolis of Los Angeles is inspired to send out facts to the FBI’s electronic mail tip line at [email protected] or to call the FBI’s Los Angeles Area Office environment at (310) 477-6565.