Senior LA Building Inspector Gets 30 Months for Graft

A senior building inspector with the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety (LADBS) was sentenced earlier this week to 30 months in federal prison for taking more than $30,000 in bribes between 2007 and 2010.  He is the third building inspector convicted of taking bribes since 2011.

Samuel In, who had worked for LADBS for 37 years, pleaded guilty to collecting the bribes – which he often described to the victims as “fees” – over a three-year period ending in 2010.  According to prosecutor Maggie Carter, In preyed upon the limited English of many of his Koreatown victims and their unfamiliarity with the city’s legitimate mode of conducting business.  Sometimes he would offer to further “assist” Koreatown business owners in filling out LADBS paperwork, advising on construction plans and even offering his services to guide victims from permit to final inspection  — charging them an additional fee of $5000 for his assistance.

In’s scheme came to the attention of the FBI after an informant reported that LADBS inspectors took cash bribes in exchange for necessary permit approvals on residential construction projects.  An undercover investigation ensued, during which In solicited bribes from an FBI agent.

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