4 charged in Prince George's County liquor board bribery conspiracy

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Two Prince George's County liquor board officials and two business owners are being charged in a bribery conspiracy.

“The defendants allegedly paid cash bribes to state and local officials in Prince George’s County in return for favorable action concerning liquor licenses,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “Our government is not supposed to work that way.”

The FBI searched the county's liquor board Thursday morning before announcing the arrests.

Those charged are board Director David Dae Sok Son and Commissioner Anuj Sud and two business owners, Young Jung Paig of Beltsville and Shin Ja Lee of Landover with bribery and conspiracy.

“Public corruption is a betrayal of trust and erodes the very core of the government's purpose to serve the people,” said Special Agent Gordon B. Johnson of the FBI's Baltimore Division.

Son solicited and facilitated bribes ranging from $1,000 to $5,000, from lobbyists and business owners, including Paig and Lee, according to court document. Son allegedly facilitated payments to an elected official for help moving a business to the county and grants the official controlled.

Court documents allege Sud solicited bribes from a lobbyist in exchange for assistance with liquor board matters. On November 30, 2016, Sud received a $1,000 bribe payment in exchange for taking favorable action on behalf of the lobbyist’s client, according to court documents.

If convicted, Son, Sud, Paig and Lee all face a maximum sentence of five years in prison for the conspiracy, and a maximum of ten years in prison for bribery.

During a press conference on Thursday, the US Attorney said it expects two elected officials will be charged as well, but wouldn’t reveal any identities. 

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