Thomas Shepos, 72, Was a Senior LA County Official With the Power to Green Light Contracts and Leases
Thomas Shepos admitted in 2018 to lying to FBI investigators and filing a false tax return, taking bribes from Beverly Hills real estate developers for years. As an LA County official with authority to approve contracts and lease agreements, he was also at fault.
Early Life and Education
Shepos, 72, from Palmdale worked in the Real Estate Division of Ventura County’s Real Estate Office and awarded contracts to real estate developers and contractors based on his seniority – authorities said. With such power come contractual binds that “significantly bind the county.”
Shepos has stipulated in his plea agreement that starting in 2010 or 2011, Gabaee paid him monthly bribes of about $1,000 and offered preferential contract terms and non-public information. Furthermore, in April 2017, prosecutors allege Gabaee offered to buy him a million-dollar home in Northern California as an inducement.
Shepos has also admitted lying to FBI agents and filing a false tax return related to the bribes. As such, he faces up to eight years of incarceration; sentencing should occur later this year. In response to this scandal’s exposure, county officials have implemented new policies concerning leasing activity.
From 2011 to 2017, Beverly Hills developer Arman Gabaee paid approximately $1,000 monthly to Shepos, who worked in Los Angeles County’s real estate division and had “significant autonomy to contractually bind the county.” In return, Shepos provided Gabaee with county leases, preferential contract terms, non-public information and non-public leases from Los Angeles County government – wiretapped conversations revealed he asked Shepos to assist him in securing a long-term $45 million lease at Hawthorne Mall that would increase property values tenfold.
Investigators discovered that Shepos had misled investigators regarding his bribery schemes and attempted to conceal over $139,000 of income derived from them in his 2014 tax return. After being interviewed by authorities, Shepos lied about them and concealed this income on his tax returns for 2014. As a result, he has pleaded guilty to two counts of bribery and will likely receive up to eight years imprisonment when sentenced later this year.
Achievement and Honors
Shepos worked as the Real Estate Division administrator of his county. He admitted taking bribes from developer Arman Gabaee in exchange for county leases, preferential contract terms and non-public information.
Shepos began cooperating with authorities in 2016, recording secret meetings between Gabaee and Shepos in cars, restaurants and men’s restrooms. According to prosecutors, Gabaee offered Shepos a million-dollar home in Northern California as well as other forms of bribe payments from Gabaee.
Shepos was found guilty in November of deceiving federal investigators and filing a false tax return, facing up to eight years in prison and having to pay over $140,000 in restitution and penalties; additionally he is prohibited from government work for life. He lives in Palmdale, California with his wife, children and grandchildren.
Shepos died Aug. 4 in Lower Paxton Township at home and is survived by five children, 21 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. His family would like to extend its gratitude for the care given by Country Meadows West and Capitol Rehab’s caregivers – they provided exceptional assistance for him as part of Country Meadows West and Capitol Rehab’s dedicated care teams. Donations may also be made directly to St Margaret Mary Church capital campaign or St Margaret Mary School as an expression of sympathy in lieu of flowers.
Shepos admitted accepting cash bribes from Arman Gabaee, a West Hollywood developer seeking a 10-year lease agreement for Public Social Services at Hawthorne Mall. Gabaee gave Shepos monthly payments and offered to purchase him a $1 Million home in Santa Rosa wine country as per their plea agreement, according to court records.
Thomas Shepos, 72, worked in Los Angeles County’s Real Estate division where he awarded county contracts to real estate developers and contractors. In November, Shepos pleaded guilty for accepting bribes from Beverly Hills-based real estate developer Arman Gabaee (61).
Starting in 2010 or 2011, Gabaee, co-managing partner of West Hollywood development firm Charles Company, made monthly bribe payments of $1,000 to Shepos as payment for non-public information and preferred contract terms. He also offered him a million-dollar home in Northern California as well as making two offers on two Santa Rosa properties valued at $1,065,000 each.
In December 2016, Shepos began cooperating with the FBI, admitting taking bribes from Gabaee during meetings secretly recorded by them and making false statements to investigators as well as signing fraudulent tax returns.