For previous stories see "Corruption at Building and Safety," and also "Bud Ovrom, L.A. Building and Safety Manager, Accidentally Outs Himself as a Scheming Media Manipulator in FBI Bribery Scandal."
A third L.A. building inspector has pleaded guilty in a federal bribery scandal that has rocked City Hall.
Authorities say that from 2007 to 2010 Samuel In took $30,000 in dirty cash from people hoping to get their projects approved in Koreatown.
And, they say, he pleaded guilty. The U.S. Attorney's Office states today:
Samuel In, 66, of Glendale, a 37-year veteran of LADBS, agreed in documents filed late yesterday to plead guilty to one count of soliciting and receiving monetary payments that In described to victims as "fees."
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Authorities say he could see 10 years behind bars (but we doubt it, since the In agreed to plea guilty as part of a deal).
Here's part of what the U.S. Attorney's Office says he did:
In one example described in court documents, a victim identified as T.C., who wanted to open a retail store in Los Angeles in 2008, paid $5,000 to In. To open the store, the victim needed to convert office space in a process that required a building permit. The victim had limited English language ability and had a difficult time completing the LADBS paperwork. During one of the victim's visits to LADBS' offices, In assisted the victim in the Korean language, informing him that he was a senior inspector at LADBS, and advising the victim about construction plans.
The victim followed In's advice and received a building permit from LADBS. Following the issuance of the permit, In went to the victim's business and said he would take care of the inspections and other procedures through the final inspection of the retail store, if the victim paid In $4,000 in "fees." In later increased the amount of his "fees" to $5,000, asked that any payments by check be made with the payee line left blank, and advised that checks made payable to LADBS would not be useful. The victim ultimately made several cash payments totaling $5,000.