Developer implicated in Jose Huizar scandal cuts deal with feds

Shenzhen Hazens admits to showering LA councilman with Katy Perry tickets, trips, hotel discounts

Los Angeles /
Oct.October 08, 2020 03:26 PM
Jose Huizar and the Luxe Center hotel (Credit: Kirk McKoy/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images, and Google Maps)
Jose Huizar and the Luxe Center hotel (Credit: Kirk McKoy/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images, and Google Maps)

Shenzhen Hazens’ next big payment will be to the federal government.

The U.S. subsidiary of the China-based developer will pay a $1.05 million fine in the corruption scandal centered around Los Angeles Council member Jose Huizar, according to an agreement made public Wednesday.

The company admitted to showering the former chairman of the Council’s planning and land use committee with bribes in exchange for help getting a megaproject approved. Huizar, who has since been arrested and indicted, moved through the city approval process Shenzhen’s $700 million redevelopment of the Luxe Hotel, prosecutors allege.

Huizar has maintained his innocence.

Shenzhen subsidiary, Arcadia-based Jia Yuan USA, will pay the government the money within two weeks. The developer will not be prosecuted for at least the next three years, officials said.

Shenzhen was implicated but not charged in the Huizar probe shortly after the FBI raided the Council member’s office and home in November 2018. Huizar faces a trial next June on 34 criminal counts, with prosecutors alleging he ran a criminal enterprise with developers, lobbyists, and other city officials.

According to the agreement announced Wednesday, Shenzhen’s gifts to Huizar include an all-expense paid trip to China and Katy Perry concert tickets. Also, Shenzhen Hazens gave hotel room discounts to city officials at Huizar’s behest, and politicians received discounts for hosting fundraising events at the hotel.

Shenzhen Hazens is one of four developers implicated in separate plea deals federal prosecutors announced in the last several months involving alleged accomplices. But it is the first developer to have struck a deal with federal prosecutors in the case.

The actual real estate project in question has never gotten off the ground.

Shenzhen received approval for a 49-story residential tower, a 29-story hotel and 80,000 square feet of retail space. But the developer never applied for building permits, and the L.A. city attorney’s office moved this summer to strip Shenzhen Hazens’ permits for selling alcohol and hosting live entertainment.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Jose Huizar has pleaded not guilty. (Getty, Department of Justice)
Jose Huizar federal corruption trial postponed again
Jose Huizar federal corruption trial postponed again
Renderings of the new tower with the existing 3 floor structure. (Omgivning)
Rendon Hotel redevelopment will add 15-story tower in Arts District
Rendon Hotel redevelopment will add 15-story tower in Arts District
Mitchell Englander (Getty)
Paying for his play: Ex-LA councilman sentenced in City Hall corruption scandal
Paying for his play: Ex-LA councilman sentenced in City Hall corruption scandal
Onni Group president Rossano de Cotiis and a rendering of Times Mirror Square
Onni Group’s 1.1K-unit Times Mirror Square project nears final approval
Onni Group’s 1.1K-unit Times Mirror Square project nears final approval
Mitchell Englander (Getty)
No jail time for ex-LA councilmember would be “two-tier” justice system: prosecutors
No jail time for ex-LA councilmember would be “two-tier” justice system: prosecutors
Ron Zeff's Carmel Partners has agreed to pay a $1 million fine in connection with the Jose Huizar scandal. Zeff split image at far left and right; Huizar is in middle. (Multi Family Forum, Jose Huziar, SCB)
Carmel Partners agrees to $1M fine in connection with Huizar scandal
Carmel Partners agrees to $1M fine in connection with Huizar scandal
From left, Michael Rosenfeld and Century Plaza, Jose Huizar and City Hall, Jeff Bezos and 1801 Angelo Drive (Getty Images)
LA’s biggest real estate stories of 2020
LA’s biggest real estate stories of 2020
Photo illustration by Alexis Manrodt for The Real Deal (Getty, iStock)
The secrets still to come in the FBI’s Jose Huizar investigation
The secrets still to come in the FBI’s Jose Huizar investigation
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...