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Bel Air Real Estate Developer Gets 6 Years for Bribing an L.A. City Councilman

Posted by Vitaly Sigal | Sep 15, 2023 | 0 Comments

Dae Yong Lee, “David Lee,” a 58-year-old man from Bel Air, was sentenced to six years in federal prison after paying a $500,000 cash bribe to former Los Angeles City Councilman José Huizar and his special assistant. He was also ordered to pay a $750,000 fine. According to the Judge, it was important to impose a significant sentence on Lee to deter other white-collar criminals.

Bribe Negotiations

According to court documents, Lee owned a real estate development company called 940 Hill LLC, which was developing part of downtown LA. In Huizar's council district, 940 Hill LLC was building a mixed-use development with 14,000 square feet of commercial space and more than 200 residential units.

In August 2016, when a labor organization appealed the development, Lee called up one of the councilman's fundraisers and asked him to ask Huzar for help resolving the appeal. Huizar's special assistant told the fundraiser that the councilman would only help if he received a financial benefit. The bribe was negotiated, and in 2017, Lee agreed to pay it.

Two years later, 940 Hill LLC was served with a federal grand jury subpoena from the U.S. Attorney's Office for records related to Huizar. Lee and 940 Hill LLC subsequently obstructed justice by entering false state and federal tax returns into company accounting records that categorized the bribe as a business expenditure. 

In addition to Lee's sentencing, the councilman, his special assistant, his fundraiser, and other city officials have been charged with similar state and federal law violations. Some of these charges include violations of the Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, conspiracy to violate RICO, tax evasion, obstruction of justice, and even sexual harassment.

Hiring an Experienced Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one has been accused of bribery, the best thing you can do is hire an experienced defense attorney. Attorney Vitaly Sigal of Sigal Law Group will work tirelessly to gather evidence and witness testimony, creating a strategic defense on your behalf. Call 818-325-0571 today or schedule a free consultation online.

About the Author

Vitaly Sigal

Vitaly Sigal Sigal Law Group Owner 355 S. Grand Ave, Suite 2450 Los Angeles, CA 90071 (213) 620-0212 Vitaly Sigal has extensive trial experience and is not afraid to take your case to trial if necessary. From straightforward to complex litigation, Mr. Sigal handles every case with the same i...


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