ATLANTA — A federal grand jury has indicted a Duluth resident on charges of wire fraud and bribery.
Jae Jun Bae, 34, was indicted Dec. 3 on five counts of wire fraud and one count of bribery stemming from an incident in which Bae is accused of attempting to bribe a Doraville city employee and an undercover officer posing as a member of Doraville’s Community Development Department.
“The defendant is charged with offering bribes to subvert the proper operation of Doraville’s government,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “As is usually the case, the government employees reported Bae’s misdeeds — allowing law enforcement officers to thwart his efforts to offer cash for favors.”
According to Yates, the charges and other information presented in court, Bae is the owner of Moon Lingerie, a lingerie business located in Doraville. In April 2012, Bae bought a commercial building located on Buford Highway in Doraville. At the time of the purchase, the property was zoned for retail use and could not be used as a wholesale location as Bae wanted. In August 2012, Bae reportedly met with an employee of the city of Doraville and attempted to give the employee an envelope of cash in an effort to have the Buford Highway property re-zoned. The employee did not take the envelope and reported Bae’s attempt to local law enforcement authorities.
In October, Bae asked to meet with an employee of Doraville’s Community Development Department. Based on the allegations from August 2012, the employee reported Bae’s request for a meeting to law enforcement authorities and agreed to cooperate with them, resulting in the FBI and the Doraville Police Department conducting a series of undercover operations involving Bae.
On Oct. 17, Bae met with the Doraville employee and an undercover officer posing as a member of Doraville’s Community Development Department. During the meeting, Bae agreed to pay approximately $100,000 to have the Buford Highway property re-zoned to permit wholesale uses. On Oct. 18, Bae met with the undercover officer and re-negotiated the price to obtain a wholesale re-zoning from $100,000 to $70,000. On Oct. 29, Bae made a $5,000 payment to the Doraville employee as a deposit to get the Buford Highway property re-zoned. On the next day, Bae gave the undercover officer a $3,000 payment, which the undercover officer said would secure a vote in favor of Bae’s re-zoning application. Bae was arrested by the FBI on Nov. 14.
The most serious of the charges, wire fraud, carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 on each count.