SAN FRANCISCO — The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) announced on Wednesday, November 18 that Paul Fredrick Giusti, former Recology executive, was charged with money laundering and bribery.
In a criminal complaint, the FBI stated that Giusti, 64, was “engaged in a long-term scheme to defraud the public of its rights to honest services and laundered money in the process.” Giusti gave more than $1 million with other benefits to San Francisco’s former Director of Public Works, Mohammed Nuru, to influence his choices in order to benefit Recology, a company that focuses on resource recovery.
On Twitter, the FBI San Francisco branch said that these are “the latest charges filed related to the ongoing public corruption investigation involving SF city government officials.”
For one of the payments, which was $20,000, Giusti disguised the payment as a donation to a non-profit organization to “create the false appearance of a legitimate charitable intent,” according to the complaint.
In addition, Giusti is accused of helping Nuru’s son get employed at Recology. But after that was discovered, Nuru’s son was fired. Then, Giusti helped him get a “Recology-funded internship at yet another non-profit, paid for by a grant for a summer youth internship program,” the complaint states.
According to the San Francisco Examiner, Recology said in a statement that Giusti was fired in June 2020 and said the company “has not been charged with any wrongdoing, and has continued to cooperate with all government investigations.”
Giusti will appear in federal court on Monday, November 23 in front of United States Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley in San Francisco, California.
As stated in the criminal complaint, if convicted with bribery, Giusti could be facing a fine of $250,000 and a maximum sentence of a decade in prison. If convicted with concealment money laundering, he could either be fined $500,000 or double the property value in the transaction next to a maximum sentence of two decades in prison.
Mohammed Nuru and Nick Bovis, a restaurateur, were arrested in January 2020 for allegedly bribing an airport commissioner money and a vacation at the San Francisco International Airport to open a restaurant. Bovis pleaded guilty in May 2020 on fraud charges. Nuru pleaded guilty for perjury and fraud.
On his Twitter account five days prior to his arrest, Nuru shared a photo from the National Governors Association in San Francisco tweeting: “Enjoying touring the Salesforce Transit Center with our Governor @GavinNewsom and Governors from Maryland and Montana.”