A retired FBI agent was arrested Friday on a federal charge filed in Los Angeles alleging he conspired to accept more than $200,000 in cash bribes and gifts in exchange for providing sensitive law enforcement information to a lawyer with ties to Armenian organized crime.
Babak Broumand, 53, was arrested near his Bay Area home in Lafayette by special agents with the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General.
Broumand is expected to make his initial court appearance Monday, via telephone from jail, in federal court in San Francisco, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Broumand was named in a criminal complaint filed under seal Tuesday in Los Angeles federal court, charging him with a single count of conspiracy to commit bribery of a public official.
The complaint outlines an alleged scheme in which the lawyer made regular bribe payments to and purchased gifts for Broumand while he was an FBI agent assigned to the San Francisco field office working on national security matters and the development of confidential sources, federal prosecutors said.
From early 2015 through most of 2017, Broumand allegedly accepted bribe payments averaging $10,000 per month. The bribes were paid by a man who became a licensed lawyer in 2016, according to the complaint, which refers to this man as CW1, or cooperating witness 1.
The complaint alleges cash deposits to several banks accounts, as well as various gifts, including hotels, transportation and escort services, that total well over $200,000, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
“Broumand and CW1 conspired and agreed that Broumand would perform official acts and omit to do acts, query law enforcement databases, provide CW1 with non-public law enforcement sensitive information and protection, and assist CW1 in CW1’s efforts to evade detection by law enforcement,” according to the affidavit in support of the complaint.
Many of the bribe payments were made in cash, but one payment was a $30,000 cashier’s check made payable to a company called Love Bugs, a hair lice treatment business that Broumand owned with his wife, the complaint alleges.
Broumand used this money — which he later attempted to falsely characterize alternatively as a boat sale or a loan — as part of a down payment on a $1.3 million vacation home near Lake Tahoe, prosecutors allege.
“Our nation is based on the premise that public officials — especially federal law enforcement officials — place the country and her people above their own self-interest,” said U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna.
“This former FBI agent stands accused of violating this sacred trust by providing help to criminals simply to fund his lavish lifestyle. The complaint outlines a long-running and multi-faceted scheme that tarnished the badge that was the symbol of his oath to uphold the law.”
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