Thursday, December 2, 2010

Permit 'expediter' Jen jailed on fraud charges

(Thanks to my good friend, Greg Letts, for bringing this to my attention via his blog, Survey Landmarks.)
by Jaxon Van Derbeken, Chronicle Staff Writer

An unlicensed civil engineer and notorious  San Francisco permit "expediter" faces more than 200 felony charges for allegedly creating bogus documentation for about 100 construction projects in the city, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Jimmy Jen, 56, who has repeatedly been cited for violating building codes, was allegedly involved in "massive fraud" over two decades, San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris said during a news conference.

He was jailed on $50 million bail following his arrest on Tuesday and is expected to be arraigned Friday on 232 separate felony counts. Harris said Jen is considered a flight risk.

Jen's employee, Jian Min Fong, was being held on nearly $2.3 million bail on charges that he was involved in the scheme, which raised questions among prosecutors about the city's approval process.

A former plan checker for the city of San Francisco, Jen was well known in construction circles for his ability to push permits through building inspectors and for his close friendship with the agency's former deputy director, Jim Hutchinson, who left the post in 2005.

Jen is not a licensed surveyor and only had an "on again, off again" civil engineering license as part of his Delta Design and Engineering Systems business, prosecutors said.

He is accused of using the names of licensed engineers and even making fake rubber stamps with their names on them in a variety of projects submitted for approval since 1990.

Prosecutors said he took the name and replicated the stamp of a licensed surveyor and engineer, Ching-Liu Wu, starting in 1990. Wu actually does not do surveys, he is an engineer for Bechtel, prosecutors said.

Jen nevertheless used Wu's name on surveyor maps of 26 properties from 1990-95, prosecutors said. Then, from 2000-07, he used Wu's engineering stamp on 60 residential projects.

Wu has said he never worked for Jen on any projects, let alone those ones, Harris said. Prosecutors believe that Jen had no license, but did the work while masquerading as Wu to get approval.

Jen is also being accused of claiming that licensed engineer Tai-Ming Chen had done work on 10 projects, notably the pending proposed renovation and other work on the landmark 1923 Alexandria movie theater.

The investigation began in November 2008, when a land surveyor raised questions about a lot subdivision in one of Jen's projects on Madrid Street. He contacted Wu, triggering the probe.

Harris said the investigators soon realized that there were "very obvious" discrepancies between the approval stamps and engineers' signatures compared to the ones Jen submitted. One "curious" circumstance, she said, was that no building inspectors ever asked any questions related to the surveys or engineering plans in any of the projects. Had they done so, they would have discovered that the engineers had no role in creating the plans, she said.

"We are curious about that," Harris said, noting that prosecutors are seeking to find out how 500 bogus documents could be reviewed by the Department of Building Inspection without a single question asked.

"We will find out exactly what was going on," she said, about how the documents could make it through "these offices and that office in particular over the course of two decades without notice."

Bill Strawn, spokesman for the Department of Building Inspection, said that so far no project mentioned by prosecutors has been found to be problematic.

"We are working with the D.A. on this," he said.

Strawn said his office reviews 60,000 applications a year, signed under penalty of perjury as valid, and would not typically verify every detail of a submission.

Jen, who faces $1.5 million in fines to the city for code violations on one of his projects, was named as a target of an arson investigation involving a San Francisco home, owned by his former wife, that caught fire in February 2009. He denied setting the blaze and was never charged.

E-mail Jaxon Van Derbeken at jvanderbeken@sfchronicle.com.
This article appeared on page C - 3 of the San Francisco Chronicle

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/08/04/BADI1EOQ8C.DTL#ixzz1701BwKmo

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Greg Sebourn

Orange County Bail Bonds

The Beauty of a Storm

The Beauty of a Storm
Orange County, Ca.

My Grandma - A Eulogy

LET'S TALK ABOUT 1914 FOR A MOMENT.



FOR STARTERS, GRANDMA WAS BORN TUESDAY, DECEMBER 22, 1914 IN HER FAMILY'S ATWOOD RANCH HOUSE.



IT IS WORTH NOTING THOSE ALSO BORN IN 1914:

JACK LALANNE

JOE DIMAGGIO

DANNY THOMAS



AND WHO DIED IN 1914:

JOHN MUIR, THE FAMOUS NATURALIST FOR WHICH NUMEROUS ROADS, PARKS, HOTELS, AND NATURE RESERVES ARE NAMED.



IT IS ALSO WORTH NOTING THAT IN 1914 WOODROW WILSON SIGNS MOTHER'S DAY PROCLAMATION AND BABE RUTH MAKES HIS MAJOR LEAGUE DEBUT WITH THE RED SOX. MOTHER'S DAY AND BASEBALL- TWO OF MY FAVORITES!! (PERHAPS HER NICKNAME "BABE" CAME FROM BABE RUTH???)



GRANDMA WAS BORN INTO A PERIOD OF TIME FILLED WITH TURMOIL. IN JUNE OF 1914 ARCHDUKE FRANZS FERDINAND WAS ASSASSINATED. WITHIN ONE MONTH WORLD WAR I RAGED ACROSS EUROPE. TWO DAYS AFTER HER BIRTH HOWEVER, GERMAN AND BRITISH TROOPS INTERRUPTED WWI TO CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS. (PERHAPS THEY PAUSE KNOWING THAT A GREAT WOMAN WAS BORNE) WORLD WAR I CONTINUED UNTIL THE TREATY OF VERSAILLES IN 1919.



ALTHOUGH SHE WAS ONLY 5 YEARS OLD, SHE SAW THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS CREATED AND THE 19TH AMENDMENT WAS APPROVED BY THE U.S. CONGRESS GUARANTEEING THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN TO VOTE.



SHE LIVED THROUGH MANY NOTABLE EVENTS. LIKE THE 1933 LONG BEACH EARTHQUAKE OR WHEN ATWOOD FLOODED ALONG WITH MOST OF ORANGE COUNTY IN 1938 AND THE FLOOD-WATERS CLAIMED MORE THAN 50 PEOPLE, 43 OF WHICH WERE FROM ATWOOD! ALL OF THIS DURING A TIME THAT WE READ ABOUT IN SCHOOL AND KNOWN AS "THE GREAT DEPRESSION". SOMEWHERE IN ALL OF THAT SHE FOUND THE LOVE OF HER LIFE, GRANDPA LEO, GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL, GOT MARRIED, AND HAD KIDS!



THEN THERE WAS WORLD WAR II. FROM PEARL HARBOR TO HIROSHIMA, GRANDMA WAS RAISING MY UNCLE BOB AND MOM ARLINE. WITH AIR-RAID SIRENS AND BLACKOUTS SHE WAS A WIFE AND MOTHER. WHAT A TIME TO RAISE CHILDREN! I BET GRANDMA'S PARENTS WERE ABEL TO TELL HER A THING OR TWO ABOUT RAISING KIDS IN WARTIME.



GRANDMA WAS THERE WHEN THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA HELD THEIR 3RD ANNUAL NATIONAL JAMBOREE IN 1953. SHE SAW AIRBASES OPEN IN '42 AND CLOSE IN '99. SHE WATCHED WALTER KNOTT START UP HIS BERRY FARM AND WALT DISNEY TURN ORANGE GROVES AND STRAWBERRY PATCHES INTO DISNEYLAND!



SHE SAW THE HORSE AND CARRIAGE FADE AWAY INTO HISTORY AND SPACE TRAVEL EXPLODE BEFORE HER WITH THE FIRST LUNAR LANDING. JUST IMAGINE HOW MUCH TECHNOLOGY HAS CHANGED OVER THE LAST 100 YEARS. FROM TUBE RECTIFIERS TO SUPERCONDUCTORS; FROM TRANS-ATLANTIC TELEGRAPH CABLES TO SATELLITE TV.



SHE SAW MORE IN HER 93 YEARS THAN MOST OF US WILL EVER READ ABOUT, LET ALONE LIVE THROUGH!



OF THOSE 93 YEARS IT IS MY HONOR TO HAVE BEEN HER GRANDSON FOR 35 OF THEM. SHE WAS MY MOTHER WHEN MOM HAD TO WORK. SHE WIPED MY NOSE AND PUT FOOD IN MY MOUTH. SHE LET ME PLAY WITH GRANDPA EVEN THOUGH SHE NEEDED HIM TO TAKE HER TO THE STORE. SHE WAS MY GRANDMA AND I WILL MISS HER IMMENSELY.



JUST LOOK AROUND THIS ROOM; SHE DID THIS. SHE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR BRINGING SO MANY GOOD PEOPLE INTO THIS WORLD AND TOGETHER TODAY. THIS IS HER LEGACY.



A Dedication To My Loving Wife, Stacey. Thank you for all you do for me!

Brad Paisley - I Thought I Loved You Then


I remember trying not to stare the night that I first met you
You had me mesmerized
3 weeks later in the front porch light taking 45 min to kiss you goodnight
I hadn’t told you yet but I thought I loved you then

Chorus
Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Like a river meets the sea
Stronger than it’s ever been
We’ve come so far since that day
And I thought I loved you then.

I remember taking you back to right where I first met you
You were so surprised
There were people around
But I didn’t care I got down on one knee right there
And once again I thought I loved you then

Chorus
Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Like a river meets the sea
Stronger than it’s ever been
We’ve come so far since that day
And I thought I loved you then.

I can just see you with a baby on the way
I can just see you when your hair is turning gray
What I can’t see is how I’m ever gonna love you more
But I’ve said that before.

Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Well look back some day at this moment that we’re in
And I'll look at you and say I thought I loved you then
And I thought I loved you then...

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