FBI agents arrested well-known Los Angeles area developer Arman Gabay on federal bribery charges alleging that he paid bribes to a Los Angeles County employee every month and offered to buy a house for the official in Northern California’s wine country.
“Gabay was charged in a federal criminal complaint with one count of bribery,” according to a statement from U.S. Attorney spokesman Thomas Mrozek.
Gabay’s real name is Arman Gabaee. He is 57 and lives in Beverly Hills.
“The complaint alleges that Gabaee paid the employee cash bribes of $1,000 or more every month for six years in exchange for county leases, non-public information, and other benefits.”
Gabaee, co-managing partner of the Hollywood-based Charles Company, is part owner of several commercial properties in and around Los Angeles County.
At least one meeting between Gabaee and the county employee was recorded. Gabaee’s intent was to secure a county lease in the Hawthorne Mall, which Gabaee was redeveloping. According to the federal complaint, Gabaee wanted the county to enter into a 10-year, $45 million lease at the site as part of a rental agreement for the county’s department of Public Social Services and other county departments.
“Business leaders who use their wealth and influence to corrupt our government are a scourge on our community,” United States Attorney Nicola T. Hanna said. “No one, no matter how prominent or wealthy, is above the law.”
If convicted of the bribery charge alleged in the complaint, Gabaee would face a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.
A profile of Gabaee on the Charles Company website describes Gabaee as a “visionary.”
“With over 30 years’ experience, Arman is a visionary who sees development opportunities where others see vacant land. His unique vision allows him to better expedite project planning and design and his construction background greatly limits construction cost overruns.”