February 8, 2023 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Beverly Hills Developer Pleads Guilty to Bribery Related to $45 Million Government Lease

Arman Gabaee faces up to 10 years in prison

By Sam Catanzaro

A Beverly Hills developer faces up to 10 years in federal prison for offering to buy a million-dollar home for a Los Angeles County public official in exchange for assistance securing a $45 million county lease. 

Arman Gabaee, 61, a.k.a. “Arman Gabay,” of Beverly Hills, plead guilty April 27 to one count of bribery, a crime that carries a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.

Gabaee will enter his guilty plea on May 2 before United States District Judge George H. Wu. He also has agreed to pay a fine of at least $1,149,000 and any restitution ordered.

Gabaee was a co-founder and co-managing partner of the Charles Company, a Hollywood-based commercial and residential real estate development firm. The then-county official whom Gabaee bribed was Thomas M. Shepos, 72, of Palmdale, who worked in Los Angeles County’s Real Estate Division and was involved in awarding contracts to real estate developers and contractors.

According to his plea agreement, beginning no later than 2011 and continuing until April 2017, Gabaee paid Shepos bribes and kickbacks of approximately $1,000 per month in exchange for county leases, preferential contract terms, non-public information and other benefits. From December 2016 when Shepos began cooperating to April 2017, Gabaee paid Shepos $6,000 in cash bribes during meetings Shepos secretly recorded at the direction of the FBI.

Further, in 2017, Gabaee offered to buy Shepos a Northern California home – then worth more than $1 million – in exchange for Shepos’ assistance securing a county lease in the Hawthorne Mall, which Gabaee owned and was redeveloping. 

“Gabaee wanted the county to enter into a 10-year, $45 million lease for county departments to rent office space in the Hawthorne Mall,” prosecutors said. 

During other secretly recorded meetings with Shepos, Gabaee first offered to purchase him a home listed at $1,199,000 in Sonoma County. Upon learning that this property was already in escrow, Gabaee offered to buy Shepos a different house, listed at $1,095,000, and also located in Sonoma County. Gabaee placed two offers on this property, first for $1,035,000 and later for $1,065,000. Gabaee admitted in his plea agreement that he rescinded the second offer hours after he made it because FBI agents had approached and informed him that they were aware of his bribes to Shepos.

Shepos pleaded guilty in November 2018 to one count of making false statements to federal investigators who were investigating his financial relationship with Gabaee and one count of subscribing to a false tax return related to payments he received from Gabaee. Shepos is scheduled to be sentenced on June 27.

Related Posts

LA County Seeking Young Artists for Clean Beach Poster Contest

February 7, 2023

February 7, 2023

Each winning entry will be displayed on beach trash barrels with winners receiving $100 gift cards The Los Angeles County...

Think Pink: Women’s Wellness Celebrated at Annual Irene Dunne Guild Event

February 7, 2023

February 7, 2023

This year’s event will take place on May 10 at the Upper Bel Air Bay Club.  “Think Pink for Women’s...

Santa Monica History Museum Announces Access Program for Low-Income Families

February 7, 2023

February 7, 2023

Program provides those receiving food assistance (SNAP) visiting the Santa Monica History Museum free admission The Santa Monica History Museum...

UCLA-Led Research Could Help Restore Endangered Fish Species Native to Southern California

February 7, 2023

February 7, 2023

As California’s water resources dwindle and urban areas expand, a species of fish that is rarely heard of is on...

Sofia Klatzker Named Cultural Affairs Manager of Santa Monica

February 6, 2023

February 6, 2023

Klatzker to replace Shannon Daut in role to oversee arts, culture and creative policies in the City Sofia Klatzker has...

Duo Charged for Alleged Caregiver Fraud Scheme Against Malibu Physician Who Was Drugged With LSD in Final Days

February 6, 2023

February 6, 2023

Anthony David Flores and Anna Rene Moore face up to 20 years in prison A Fresno hairstylist and an actress...

Metro Working on Plan to Provide Shelter for Homeless Passengers When Trains Are Emptied

February 6, 2023

February 6, 2023

Metro estimates that 800 people use Metro train and rapid transit bus stations as shelter each night By Dolores Quintana...

Arrests Made in Daylight Armed Robbery of Rolex in Downtown Santa Monica

February 6, 2023

February 6, 2023

Leroy McCrary and Donta Baker arrested in connection to September robbery By Sam Catanzaro Two men have been arrested for...

Santa Monica Nonprofit WISE & Healthy Aging Launches Advocacy Website

February 6, 2023

February 6, 2023

WISEOmbudsman.org designed to provide tools s to those who are looking to get better care in a skilled nursing or...

Tishman Speyer Announces Basis Investment Group as Equity Partner for Santa Monica Collection

February 3, 2023

February 3, 2023

BIG’s $30 million commitment — 11 percent of total equity — to the 3.1-acre mixed-use development will help create 617...

SMa.r.t. Column: To a Better Housing Element

February 3, 2023

February 3, 2023

Your City is busy rewriting much of its zoning code to implement our new Housing Element as demanded by the...

Two Industry Titans Invest $30M in Lavish Pacific Palisades and Santa Monica Homes

February 3, 2023

February 3, 2023

David Bonderman and Christa Campbell recently acquired two lavish homes By Dolores Quintana Private equity tycoon David Bonderman and his...

Four-Year-Old Mountain Lion P-81 Found Dead on PCH

February 2, 2023

February 2, 2023

P-81 found on Pacific Coast Highway near Las Posas Road On Sunday, January 22, the California Department of Fish and...

Rep. Lieu Secures $2.5 Million for Local Projects in Santa Monica

February 2, 2023

February 2, 2023

Funding will go towards Santa Monica Behavioral Health Center and Ready to Succeed Scholarship program  By Sam Catanzaro ​​Congressman Ted...

Steve Marcy, Beloved Lincoln Middle School Teacher and Scoutmaster, Passes Away at 77

February 2, 2023

February 2, 2023

Longtime Lincoln math teacher passes away  ​​Steve Marcy, beloved Lincoln Middle School teacher and Scoutmaster of Santa Monica Boy Scout...