“A federal corruption probe into relationships between developers and Los Angeles elected officials made a major move forward Thursday, with prosecutors saying a political fundraiser will plead guilty to facilitating a $500,000 bribe of an unnamed City Council member,” the Los Angeles Daily News reported March 19.
Justin Jangwoo Kim reportedly will plead guilty to a single count of federal program bribery and will cooperate in the continuing Los Angeles City Hall corruption probe. Prosecutors said Kim facilitated a $500,000 cash payment to the unnamed City Council member in late 2016 and early 2017 in a developer’s effort to resolve a labor group’s environmental challenge to a major real estate project.
Kim, the developer and council member met in September 2016, and the council member agreed to help the developer resolve the issue, prosecutors said. In a meeting the next day, the council member’s staff told Kim the developer would have to pay for the council member’s assistance, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors allege that the parties arranged a $500,000 payment, and Kim delivered a large portion of the bribe to the council member’s staff in cash, in a paper bag. (Source: Los Angeles Daily News, March 19.)