Lingerie business owner pleads guilty to bribery attempts

A Duluth resident pleaded guilty Thursday to offering bribes to city of Doraville officials, an alleged attempt to obtain a zoning change for his lingerie business.

Jae Jun Bae entered a guilty plea Thursday, four months after the 35-year-old was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of wire fraud and bribery. According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Atlanta, Bae purchased a commercial building in Doraville in 2012, hoping to use it as a wholesale location for his lingerie business, Moon Lingerie.

The building, however, was not zoned for that purpose. In August 2012, Bae reportedly met with an employee of the city of Doraville and attempted to give them an envelope of cash. That attempt was thwarted and reported to local authorities.

When Bae then asked last October to meet with a member of Doraville’s community development department, that staff member again contacted authorities. A series of undercover operations were held, during which Bae reportedly agreed to pay approximately $100,000 to have his property rezoned to permit wholesale uses. He allegedly made two separate payments of $5,000 and $3,000 before being arrested.

“Bae attempted to buy his way around certain zoning restrictions by offering bribes to Doraville employees,” U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said in a statement. “But, we all play by the same rules. As expected, those employees reported Bae’s conduct and, as a result, Bae has been brought to justice.”

Bae will be sentenced on June 30.