The U.S. Department of Justice charged three San Francisco construction executives today with bribing employees at the Department of Building Inspection in the feds’ ongoing rampage through San Francisco.
On Thursday, the DOJ charged Siavash “Sia” Tahbazof, 72, who founded the design firm SIA Consulting and is the developer SST Investments, with one charge of wire fraud. He is alleged to have bribed city employees Bernie Curran — the building inspector who was sentenced to 12 months and a day in July — as well as plan-checkers Cyril Yu and Rodolfo “Rudy” Pada, who were themselves charged with accepting the bribes just last week.
The feds also charged Reza Khoshnevisan, 54, and Bahman Ghassemzadeh, 38, with conspiracy charges; Ghassemzadeh is alleged to have bribed all three former DBI employees, while Khoshnevisan is charged with bribing Yu and Pada.
Tahbazof’s name was never printed in prior documents, but by connecting the dots left by the feds, one could predict this day. Both Curran and Pada received interest-free loans that were structured to appear as if they came from Tahbazof’s relative, Freydoon Ghassemzadeh — but, the feds allege, actually originated from Tahbazof.
If the federal allegations are true, then Tahbazof essentially achieved vertical integration via bribing the plan-checkers and the field inspector who would be handling projects of interest to him.
All three men charged today face 20 years in prison per charge, and fines topping out at $250,000. The alleged bribery took place over the span of the last decade.
The charges are just the latest in a sprawling web of corruption that has touched almost every level of city government since 2020, starting with the then-director of Public Works, Mohammed Nuru, and ensnaring city workers, building inspectors and public officials.
This is a developing story and will be updated as possible.