Former Member of Westminster Planning Commission Found Guilty of Accepting $15,000 Bribe to Help Obtain a Liquor License

SANTA ANA, California – A former member of the Planning Commission for the City of Westminster has been convicted of a federal bribery charge for soliciting and receiving a $15,000 bribe to help a person obtain a liquor license.

Dave Vo, 43, of Westminster, was found guilty by a federal jury late yesterday afternoon of one count of bribery in a program receiving federal funds.

Vo, who is an attorney, served as a Planning Commissioner in the Orange County city from early 2009 through early 2013. As a Planning Commissioner, Vo had influence over the issuance of conditional use permits.

In 2011, Vo solicited a $15,000 bribe from a confidential informant. The informant reported to the FBI that Vo had solicited a bribe in relation to the issuance of a liquor license. During August 2011, over the course of four meetings, Vo received cash payments that totaled $15,000 in exchange for pushing the liquor license through the city’s approval process.

During the three-day trial, the jury heard audio recordings of Vo soliciting the bribe, and then saw video recordings of the payments being made.

The bribery charge carries a statutory maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison.

Vo, who is free on bond, is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge James V. Selna on January 8.

The case against Vo was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel H. Ahn of the Santa Ana Branch Office.

Component(s): USAO – California, Central

Contact: Thom Mrozek Spokesperson/Public Affairs Officer United States Attorney’s Office Central District of California (Los Angeles) 213-894-6947

Press Release Number: 17-157 Updated September 8, 2017

Central District of California DOJ / 17-157 / September 8, 2017

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