Business Owner Indicted for Bribery Offenses
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 18, 2013|
ATLANTA—Jae Jun Bae has been indicted by a federal grand jury for wire fraud and bribery.
“The defendant is charged with offering bribes to subvert the proper operation of Doraville’s government,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “As is usually the case, the government employees reported Bae’s misdeeds—allowing law enforcement officers to thwart his efforts to offer cash for favors.”
Ricky Maxwell, Acting Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, stated, “Public corruption matters at all levels continue to be an investigative priority for the FBI because of the harm that it causes both with government operations and public trust. We ask the public to remain vigilant regarding criminal activities not only by public or elected officials, but also by those engaging the government, and ask that they report those activities to their nearest FBI field office.”
"Doraville is thankful to be able to work in partnership with the FBI,” said Doraville Police Chief John King. “Public corruption erodes the confidence and trust that our citizens have in our government officials and employees. Doraville police officers work tirelessly with the citizens and our partnering law enforcement agencies to make sure that our city is free of corruption and filled with trust."
According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges, and other information presented in court, Bae is the owner of Moon Lingerie, a lingerie business located in Doraville, Georgia. In April 2012, Bae bought a commercial building located on Buford Highway in Doraville. At the time of the purchase, the property was zoned for retail use and could not be used as a wholesale location as Bae wanted. In August 2012, Bae met with an employee of the city of Doraville and attempted to give the employee an envelope of cash, ostensibly in an effort to have the Buford Highway property re-zoned. The employee did not take the envelope and reported Bae’s attempt to local law enforcement authorities.
In October 2013, Bae asked to meet with an employee of Doraville’s Community Development Department. Based on the allegations from August 2012, the employee (Doraville employee) reported Bae’s request for a meeting to law enforcement authorities and agreed to cooperate with them. Thereafter, the FBI, and the Doraville Police Department conducted a series of undercover operations involving Bae. In particular, on October 17, 2013, Bae met with the Doraville employee and an undercover officer (UC) who was posing member of Doraville’s Community Development Department. During the meeting, Bae agreed to pay approximately $100,000 to have the Buford Highway property re-zoned to permit wholesale uses. On October 18, 2013, Bae met with the UC and re-negotiated the price to obtain a wholesale re-zoning from $100,000 down to $70,000. On October 29, 2013, Bae made a $5,000 payment to the Doraville Employee as a deposit to get the Buford Highway property re-zoned. On the next day, Bae gave the UC a $3,000 payment, which the UC said would secure a vote in favor of Bae’s re-zoning application. On November 14, 2013, the FBI arrested Bae.
On December 3, 2013, Bae, 34, of Duluth, Georgia, was indicted by a federal grand jury on five counts of wire fraud and one count of bribery. The most serious of the charges (wire fraud) carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 on each count. In determining the actual sentence, the court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders.
Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges. The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges, and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Doraville Police Department.
Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey W. Davis and Special Assistant United States Attorney Erin Sanders are prosecuting the case.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.Pressemails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division is http://www.justice.gov/usao/gan/.