VALLEJO, Calif. (KRON) — Two Bay Area men were charged on Thursday with bribing a Vallejo city official, according to the United States Department of Justice. Steven Chu, 40, of San Bruno and Ben Guan, 35, of San Francisco were each hit with one count of conspiracy to commit federal program bribery and one count of federal program bribery.
Chu and Guan ran an illegal marijuana grow in Vallejo, per court documents. They were notified in July 2020 that the building where they ran the operation violated multiple laws, including city codes related to illegal drug activity.
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After hearing that the city would take legal action if the violations were not addressed, Chu and Guan paid a Vallejo building inspector to prevent the city from interfering. They paid the inspector six times, totaling $27,000, the DoJ said.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigations. The two men each face a maximum of 15 years in prison and $500,000 in fines if they are convicted.