WASHINGTON — The director of the Prince George’s County liquor board who was arrested in a bribery scandal last week had been cooperating with the FBI for months until he recently tried to sabotage the investigation, prosecutors say.
David Son had been wearing a wire and providing recordings to federal investigators, but then began tipping people off and informing other targets, which prompted the FBI to raid the liquor board’s headquarters in Largo, Maryland, Thursday and arrest Son, NBC Washington reports.
Son is facing charges of bribery and conspiracy, having been accused of helping broker bribes to elected officials in return for their support of legislation loosening liquor sales in the county. Specifically, according to an affidavit, Son helped transfer bribes from business owners to elected officials in order to help pass a bill that allowed for more permits for Sunday liquor sales.
Prosecutors say Son was involved in bribes from at least 2012 through 2015 in amounts between $1,000 and $5,000, The Washington Post reports.
Three other people were arrested in the investigation, including liquor board Commissioner Anuj Sud, who resigned Friday. Sud is accused of soliciting bribes from lobbyists in exchange for voting a particular way during board hearings that would benefit the lobbyist’s client.
The liquor board, known officially as the Board of License Commissioners, regulates more than 600 liquor stores, restaurants and other businesses in Prince George’s County.
Young Paig, the owner of Central Avenue Restaurant and Liquor Store, and Shin Lee, who owns the Palmer Liquor Store, are also facing charges for allegedly providing bribe money for elected officials.
Two elected officials, who have not been named, are expected to be charged in connection with the scandal.
Following a hearing in federal court Monday, Son was released from custody and sent home, where he will be monitored electronically. He will help the FBI sift through 30 months of wiretaps and hundreds of recordings, The Post reports.
U.S. Attorney for Maryland Rod Rosenstein said the investigation into members of the liquor board has been ongoing for four years.
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