A Chinese real estate company was hit with a $4m fine for bribing an LA City Councilmember. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
A Chinese real estate company has received a $4m fine for bribing former Los Angeles City Councilmember Jose Huizar. Shen Zhen New World I was seeking approval to develop a 77-story skyscraper in downtown LA, which was ultimately never built.
As reported by the LA TimesUS District Judge John F. Walter condemned the “crushing weight of corruption” in the case. The $4m financial penalty represents the largest possible fine the court could issue. Shen Zhen must also adhere to a five-year probation period.
The criminal trial took place last fall, with witnesses outlining details of the bribery. Among the benefits of the deal, Huizar received all-expenses-paid trips to Las Vegas, which included casino chips worth six figures, private jet flights, and prostitutes.
Shen Zhen New World I is a subsidiary of the major Chinese real estate firm Shenzhen New World Group. Its billionaire owner Wei Huang has not visited the US since hearing of the FBI corruption investigation.
Huizar was part of the LA City Council between 2005 and 2020. He is waiting for his own sentencing in this case. The 54-year-old pled guilty to tax evasion and racketeering, extorting at least $1.5m in bribes from property developers.