Real Estate Developer Tied to Pasadena Project Arrested in Federal Bribery Case

Published : Thursday, May 17, 2018 | 7:58 PM

A Co-Founder and Co-Managing Partner of a Hollywood-based real estate firm developing a Colorado Boulevard medical building in the Playhouse District was arrested Wednesday morning on federal bribery charges.

Arman Gabaee, known professionally as Arman Gabay, 57, of Beverly Hills, was arrested without incident at his home.

Gabay co-manages The Charles Company with his brother, Mark, who is not accused of any wrong-doing.

In Pasadena, The Charles Company is developing the Crown City Medical Plaza at 550 East Colorado Boulevard, the corner of Colorado and South Madison Avenue in Pasadena. The property is currently a parking lot but is slated to be home to a five-story, 101,161 square foot building of medical offices.

Arman Gabay was arrested in a case which does not involve the Pasadena development.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation alleged that Gabay paid monthly bribes to a Los Angeles County employee for six years and offered to purchase for the employee a $1.1 million Santa Rosa residence, in exchange for the developer obtaining a $45 million county lease.

Gabaee is charged in a federal criminal complaint with one count of bribery, and was expected to make his initial appearance Wednesday afternoon in U.S. District Court in downtown Los Angeles, according to Thom Mrozek, Public Affairs Officer of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.

The federal 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 also paid the employee thousands of dollars during covertly recorded meetings in late 2016 and early 2017, the complaint said.

In 2017, Gabaee allegedly offered to purchase a house in Santa Rosa for the county employee in exchange for the employee’s assistance in securing a county lease in the Hawthorne Mall which Gabaee was redeveloping.

When FBI agents told Gabaee they were aware of the offers, the suspect’s offer of about $1.1 million for the property was withdrawn within hours.

The complaint alleged Gabaee wanted the county to enter into a 10-year, $45 million lease to rent space in the Hawthorne Mall for the Department of Public Social Services and other county departments. It also said Gabaee promised the employee even bigger bribes in the future, saying that things would only get “better” if the employee continued to assist Gabaee with securing other county contracts.

“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 in a statement Wednesday. “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.

Assistant United States Attorneys Ruth C. Pinkel and Lindsey Greer Dotson of the Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section are prosecuting the case.

Representatives of the Charles Company could not be reached for comment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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