SAN FRANCISCO - Three executives of a San Francisco-based construction planning firm were charged Thursday for allegedly bribing employees of the city's Department of Building Inspection, federal prosecutors said.
One of the executives, Siavash "Sia" Tahbazof, was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California said in a statement.
Prosecutors said Tahbazof, 72, allegedly bribed DBI employees to expedite the issuance of building plan permits and approve building inspections, starting in 2003. He was accused of conspiring to bribe city employees, including former DBI plan checkers and a DBI building inspector.
Reza Khoshnevisan, 54, was also charged with one count of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud. Beginning in 2012, he allegedly conspired to pay bribes to DBI plan checkers for expediting building plan permits, prosecutors said.
Bahman Ghassemzadeh, 38, was also charged with one count of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud. The U.S. Attorney's Office said that beginning in 2014, Ghassemzadeh allegedly paid bribes to former DBI plan checkers and a DBI building inspector for approved building permits.
If convicted, the executives face a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment, and a fine of up to $250,000, prosecutors said.
Former DBI plan checkers Cyril Yu, 41, and Rodolfo "Rudy" Pada, 68, have been charged with conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud. Prosecutors said that both allegedly accepted bribes from the executives in return for approving permits for building and construction plans.
The charges are the latest in a series of cases filed in a federal probe into corruption at San Francisco City Hall. Other notable recent cases include that of former senior building inspector Bernard Curran and prominent engineer Rodrigo Santos.