WCKNC’s Corrupt Building Inspector Sentenced

A former Wilshire Center & Koreatown Neighborhood (WCKNC) board member and Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety (LADBS) city inspector has finally been sentenced after he pleaded guilty last year in a federal bribery case that alleged he took more than $30,000 in bribes in relation to at least a dozen properties in and around Koreatown.

Samuel In, Corrupt WCKNC Member

Samuel In, 66, of Glendale, a 37-year veteran of LADBS, agreed last year to plead guilty to one count of soliciting and receiving monetary payments that he described to victims as “fees.” He was sentenced Monday to two and a half years in federal prison. He has also been ordered to pay the city $30,000.

“Corruption by any official corrodes public confidence in governmental institutions,” said United States Attorney André Birotte, Jr. “In this case, a government employee directly threatened the safety of the public by exploiting his position to line his own pockets. The victims were all the more vulnerable because they had limited abilities in English and depended on Mr. In to help them navigate through the inspection processes.”

In one example described in court documents, a victim identified as T.C., who wanted to open a retail store in Los Angeles in 2008, paid $5,000 to In. To open the store, the victim needed to convert office space in a process that required a building permit. The victim had limited English language ability and had a difficult time completing the LADBS paperwork. During one of the victim’s visits to LADBS offices, In assisted the victim in the Korean language, informing him that he was a senior inspector at LADBS, and advising the victim about construction plans.

The victim followed In’s advice and received a building permit from LADBS. Following the issuance of the permit, In went to the victim’s business and said he would take care of the inspections and other procedures through the final inspection of the retail store, if the victim paid In $4,000 in “fees.” In later increased the amount of his “fees” to $5,000, asked that any payments by check be made with the payee line left blank, and advised that checks made payable to LADBS would not be useful. The victim ultimately made several cash payments totaling $5,000.

As part of his plea agreement, In admitted that he solicited and accepted bribery payments totaling more than $30,000 in connection with his official duties in relation to at least 11 other Koreatown properties.

“Mr. In took advantage of Koreatown residents by taking their money under false pretenses but also by deluding victims into a false understanding of how city business is conducted,” said Bill Lewis, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI in Los Angeles. “The defendant’s decision to plead guilty is another step forward in restoring honest government to the city of Los Angeles.”

The FBI began an undercover investigation of LADBS inspectors in the summer of 2010 after an informant reported that LADBS inspectors took cash bribes in exchange for necessary permit approvals on residential construction projects. Two former inspectors pleaded guilty to accepting bribe payments and were sentenced to federal prison.

The case against In is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Atty. Maggie Carter revealed that even with this sentence, In will continue to receive a substantial pension from the city.

The FBI urges anyone with information about building inspectors or other officials accepting bribes to contact the FBI by calling its Los Angeles Field Office at (310) 477-6565 or by sending an e-mail to the dedicated anti-corruption address: REPORTBRIBES@ic.fbi.gov.

Samuel In was an “upstanding” member of the WCKNC (Wilshire Center – Koreatown Neighborhood Council), the body which makes recommendations on Land Use and other zoning matters, from as early as 2005 until 2012.

Corruption allegations have also rocked the city’s Housing Department in recent years where a Korean-speaking clerk was convicted of bribery and accused of taking money from immigrants dealing with code-enforcement issues.

Photos: High-Speed Crash on Western & 7th, One Dead

Crash by Garden Suites Hotel / Wiltern on Western & Wilshire

Photo 1: Overturned SUV by Garden Suites Hotel

One person was killed when a speeding Mercedes-Benz slammed into a parked vehicle on Western Avenue, just south of Wilshire, at around 5:30 a.m. Sunday.

The red car that was hit was propelled 100 feet into a light pole at the entrance of the McDonald’s restaurant on 7th Street, while the SUV overturned onto the sidewalk and ended up against a tree in front of Garden Suites Hotel. The female driver of the SUV succumbed to her injuries at the scene. There were no other occupants in the vehicle.

Car Accident by McDonald's on Western & 7th

Photo 2: Crash Area by McDonald’s on Western

Identified as a black 2010 Mercedes E350, the luxury SUV was reportedly traveling south on Western Avenue at a speed of approximately 100 miles per hour. To tamp down wild stereotypical speculation in the aftermath of the crash that it was an “Asian” driver, it can been revealed that the driver appeared to be of Latino descent, and not Korean.

Traffic was closed on Western Avenue until around 8:30 a.m.

Separately, at around 6:20 am, there was a fatal hit-and-run accident near the Western Avenue offramp at the 10 Freeway. The victim was a 45-year-old man.

Updates will be posted on this page.

LAPD Officer Charged with Child Abuse


FULLERTON – A Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officer has been charged with child abuse for repeatedly striking a teen relative, leaving welts and bruises, for poor grades and behavior.

Daniel Hun Chun, 39, is charged with one felony count of child abuse and one felony count of corporal injury on a child and faces a maximum sentence of six years in state prison. He is out of custody on $100,000 bail.

Chun was scheduled for an arraignment today, and the arraignment was continued to May 6, 2014, at 8:30 a.m. in Department N-12, North Justice Center, Fullerton.

At the time of the crime, Chun was a police officer with LAPD. He is accused of committing the crime while off-duty.

At approximately 4:00 p.m. on March 13, 2014, Chun is accused of confronting a young teen male relative about poor grades and other behavior issues. The defendant is accused of repeatedly hitting the victim with a variety of household items in the shoulders, back, and buttocks. He is accused of leaving welts and bruises on the victim.

A school counselor noticed the child’s injuries and reported it to police.

Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Duke of the Family Protection Unit is prosecuting this case.

In other LAPD news today, a drunk officer by the name of Jonathan Chel crashed his vehicle into a McDonald’s drive-thru this morning, and another rape victim has come forward with allegations against notorious rape cops Luis Valenzuela and Jim Nichols.

French Tourists Allege Theft at Line Hotel

A tourist from Paris is sharing the story that he and his wife had $600 stolen from a safe in their room at The Line during a recent stay at the hotel.

The man says they reported the incident to hotel management on the morning of their discovery of the theft, after which the tourist, his wife and their two-year-old child were asked to wait inside their room for the arrival of the head of security.

By 11:00 am, the family had become hungry and asked if they could go out to eat. They were told to come back at 2:00 pm to sign a report. When the family returned at 2:00 pm, they were again told to wait and weren’t let go until 3:00 pm.

The family had intended to stay in the hotel for nine days but decided to leave after four due to safety concerns. They had to find another hotel that cost more because the city was heavily booked on account of the L.A. Marathon.

Two hours after checking out of The Line, the wife realized she had left a pair of shoes in the hotel room. Her husband immediately contacted the front desk and the response was that the shoes were not found. After a few more exchanges, the hotel e-mailed the tourists a text excerpt of California law purportedly absolving the hotel of responsibility.

The Frenchman concluded his account with the statement, “This is unacceptable.”

LAPD Board of Rights: Terminate Officer James Kang

The Los Angeles Police Department’s Board of Rights concluded on March 7th that 44-year-old officer James Kang (제임스 강) deserves to be terminated from the LAPD.

The decision relates to an incident on January 24, 2012, in the city of Santa Clarita. Kang, while off duty, was allegedly driving recklessly and then pulled a gun on a man whose vehicle he had hit.

This is another black mark on the record of Korean-American officers in the LAPD, among whom the misconduct rate is perceived to be extremely high. LAPD officer David Park is one of the Gang of Four who terrorized bike rider Manuel Gallegos and is now the subject of a civil lawsuit scheduled for a jury trial in May.

LAPD officers Jin Oh and David Shin are currently defendants in a lawsuit involving the brutal Kim Nguyen case. Recently deceased LAPD officer Nicholas Lee was reported to have filed a cumulative-trauma claim in August 1998, the same year he started work at the department.

Rarely have Korean-American cops been held accountable for their misbehavior, with non-Korean locals believing their complaints about warrantless searches, harassment, and sexual assaults are being ignored due to the political clout of Korean-American business owners who ply the police department with donations and who have prominent positions in the city agencies that are supposed to keep such abuses in check.

Updates to this story will be posted on this page.

Kim Nguyen Latest Victim of LAPD’s Olympic Division

Kim Nguyen: LAPD Victim

This is Kim Nguyen a few moments after she “fell” out of an LAPD patrol car in the early hours of March 17, 2013. Her left bra strap is broken and top of her dress is pulled down to her waist.

Her jaw was shattered. She lost most of her teeth. She had to be put in a medically induced coma because of bleeding to her brain. When she awoke a few days later, she found bruising on the inside of her leg.

This is what she looked like two hours before she met the LAPD.

Kim Nguyen: LAPD Brutality Victim

What happened? After a night out in Koreatown, Nguyen and two male friends were waiting in a restaurant parking-lot for a designated driver to pick them up. Two LAPD officers drove by in a marked patrol car, stopped, and approached Nguyen.

After briefly questioning Nguyen and her friends, the officers left, but circled back, as Nguyen was running across the street toward a late-night cafe. She was then arrested for public intoxication on 6th Street between Oxford & Serrano. The officers refused to tell her friends where exactly she was being taken. Her friends were told they would need to call the police department to locate her.

On their way to taking her to jail, right after the patrol car passed through Olympic & Grand in downtown, Nguyen allegedly jumped or fell out.

What you see in the screenshot above is her on the street… That bruising on her face, the broken bra strap, and the pulled-down top of her dress were supposedly because of the fall.

The arresting officers have been identified as David E. Shin (신은총) and Jinseok Oh (오진석) of Olympic Division.

No one had any idea what happened on March 17 until the surveillance video was uncovered.

Unlike most other victims in the Koreatown area over the years who are undereducated or undocumented or have been made to disappear, Miss Nguyen has enough resources and cognizance of her rights to pursue legal suit. It was also very fortunate that there was video footage that blatantly contradicted the official lies.

Miss Nguyen has a bachelor’s degree from UCLA and is currently a graduate student at Loyola Marymount University. She is still facing many surgeries as a result of the trauma of that night.

If you have information on this case or on other victims of LAPD’s Olympic Division, email policeabuse [@] koreatownla.org


March 17, 2013

The incident occurs. Paramedics say when they arrived, Ms. Nguyen was in handcuffs and sprawled on the street. The officers tell paramedics she fell out of their vehicle as they accelerated 10 mph from a stop at the traffic-lights intersection.

March 18

A family member of Ms. Nguyen files a citizen complaint with the LAPD.

Ms. Nguyen has been placed in a medically induced coma to prevent the bleeding from damaging her brain. She is in a coma for six days. When she awoke, she found bruises all over her body, including the inside of her thighs. Her jaw is wired shut for two months to allow it to heal.

June 19

LAPD’s Legal Affairs Division informs Internal Affairs of a “claim for damages” filed on behalf of Ms. Nguyen. Such action is understood to be a precursor to a civil lawsuit.

July 3

A civil lawsuit is filed by Ms. Nguyen’s lawyers at the Los Angeles Superior Court.

September 1

No movement on LAPD’s part. Ms. Nguyen’s lawyer goes public with a video that clearly shows the officers had lied in their statements to the paramedics.

LAPD tells the media that the department is nearing the end of their internal investigation, which they claimed to have initiated in March.

December 6

In a sworn deposition, Ms. Nguyen says one of the officers was groping her in the back of the patrol car in the minutes before she ended up on the pavement. Specifically, he was grabbing at her breasts, yanking at her ear to get her to face him, and pulling the inside of her left thigh, presumably to get her to open her legs.

January 9, 2014

No movement on LAPD’s part. Ms. Nguyen’s lawyer informs the media that she was deposed by the city attorney’s office in December. A video clip is aired that shows her talking about the officer’s attack on her person.

To this day, neither David E. Shin (신은총) nor Jinseok Oh (오진석) has been taken off the field. They continue to patrol the streets of Koreatown and Pico-Union, pulling over women for alleged traffic violations.

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