DA Gascón Announces Guilty Plea and Sentencing of Contractor Charged with Bribery of Former San Francisco State University Director

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 8, 2015

@GeorgeGascon
CONTACT: Alex Bastian, (415) 553-1931

                     Maxwell Szabo, (415) 553-9089


DA GASCÓN ANNOUNCES GUILTY PLEA AND SENTENCING OF CONTRACTOR CHARGED WITH BRIBERY OF FORMER SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY DIRECTOR


SAN FRANCISCO, CA - District Attorney George Gascón announced today that Stephen Cheung, the owner of an environmental waste disposal firm that contracted with SFSU, was sentenced to a term of 3 years and 8 months in prison after pleading guilty to 118 counts of commercial bribery and bribing an executive officer. Cheung also admitted to an aggravated white collar crime enhancement and made an initial payment of $150,000 in restitution to SFSU at the time of his guilty plea. A restitution hearing was scheduled for May 28th, 9am in Dept. 20 at which time the District Attorney’s office will present evidence to ensure SFSU obtains a court order for full restitution as provided by law.


“These crimes erode the public trust and the faith the community has in government,” said District Attorney George Gascón. “If you compromise this trust, you will be held accountable.”


Cheung was charged together with co-defendant Robert Shearer, a former Director at San Francisco State University (SFSU) for their alleged roles in a bribery scheme spanning a seven-year period. Shearer was the former Director in charge of Environmental Health and Occupational Safety at SFSU. Cheung is the owner and operator of Chemical Hazardous Materials Technology (CHMT), a waste disposal firm responsible for hazardous waste removal at SFSU. According to court documents, Shearer, while in his official capacity as a Director at SFSU, allegedly took numerous bribes from Cheung in exchange for Shearer approving multiple payments to Cheung’s company totaling millions of dollars in state university money. The bribes were also allegedly in exchange for Shearer annually renewing Cheung’s contract with SFSU. Furthermore, Shearer allegedly perjured himself by repeatedly failing to report the income he received from Cheung on his annual Statement of Economic Interests filed with SFSU. Cheung pled guilty to giving bribes to Shearer, including a Volvo and monetary payments, totaling over $180,000, beginning in 2002 and ending in 2009.


Defendant Shearer is charged with 59 felony counts of commercial bribery, 59 felony counts of accepting a bribe, five felony counts of making a contract in an official capacity by a financially interested person, and five felony counts of perjury together with the aggravated white collar crime enhancement. Shearer’s case is ongoing.


“It was the tenacity of Sergeant Michael Kinoshita whose vigorous investigation made this prosecution possible,” said ADA Michael Sullivan, who prosecuted the case.



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