Consultants charged with bribing officials in San Francisco

©GCR, illustration by Denis Carrier
Three former executives of a San Francisco planning and design firm have been charged with bribing employees of the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection (DBI).

Prosecutors claim they paid bribes in return for expedited building permits and inspections.

Siavash Tahbazof, 72, was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud for paying bribes to city planning staff and inspectors. According to the indictment, the offences were carried out over a 20-year period.

Reza Khoshnevisan, 54, and Bahman Ghassemzadeh, 38, face a similar charge for offences covering the past 10 years. The charges followed an FBI investigation.

The charges were brought by the US District Attorney’s Office for Northern California. It says the bribes were paid to officials from the DBI, a regulatory city agency responsible for overseeing the enforcement of building, electrical, plumbing, and housing codes for San Francisco’s more than 200,000 commercial and residential buildings.

If convicted, each defendant faces a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment, and a fine of up to $250,000.

Two DBI employees, Cyril Yu, 41, and Rodolfo Pada, 68, have also been indicted.

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