An Atlanta businessman allegedly paid more than $40,000 in bribes to Atlanta attorney Adam Smith for three years while Smith was the chief procurement officer at City Hall, according to a federal indictment unsealed Wednesday.
When federal agents engaged in an ongoing corruption investigation zeroed in on Smith in February 2017, Lohrasb “Jeff” Jafari urged Smith to either deny he took any money from him or to label them as loans that Smith later repaid, the indictment alleges.
If Smith stuck with the loan story, Jafari allegedly said in one taped conversation, “We can both walk away from it.” And even though Jafari allegedly paid Smith in $1,000 increments from 2014 to 2017, the businessman warned the lawyer, “Don’t ever say $1,000 because that is one year in jail.”
Jafari also insisted that he and Smith should “stay on the same page” about any money paid to Smith. “Adam, we’re in trouble if you don’t,” Jafari allegedly said, according to the indictment. “If you cave in, I’m f—ed.”
On Wednesday, a federal judge in Atlanta unsealed a 51-count indictment against Jafari, an executive vice president at PRAD Group Inc. PRAD—an architectural, design and construction management firm headquartered in Atlanta—has secured millions of dollars in contracts from the city with Smith’s help, the indictment alleges.
The charges include conspiracy, witness tampering, multiple counts of bribery, tax evasion, money laundering and multiple counts of structuring—a charge associated with efforts to avoid federal cash reporting requirements by dividing deposits of more than $10,000 into smaller increments.
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