By PAUL ELIAS
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Documents released on April 10 showed the FBI investigated a prominent San Francisco lobbyist and Chinatown political power broker for four years before closing its fraud case as unverifiable.
The documents show the FBI opened its investigation of Rose Pak in 2005 after she qualified for a city affordable housing program that provided financing and condominiums at below-market rates to first-time homebuyers. She purchased the city-subsidized condo in downtown San Francisco in 2002.
The documents show Pak, a politically influential player at City Hall, owned two other San Francisco Bay Area homes.
San Francisco’s Below Market Rate Ownership Programs are designed to “help first time homebuyers who are low, moderate, and middle-income,’’ according to the Mayor’s Office website.
The FBI closed the probe after investigating Pak’s finances, tax returns and the city’s affordable housing program. It also said the five-year statute of limitations to prosecute Pak for any alleged violations had also expired when the case was closed in December 2009.
An unidentified agent wrote that the mayor’s office said officials conceded participants in the housing program weren’t adequately monitored when Pak purchased the condominium in 2002. The unidentified official said the city took better control of the affordable housing program in 2004.
Most of the notes are interviews or testimony from witnesses who testified before a grand jury, but the FBI redacted the names.
Pak died in 2016 at 68.
She was a long-time consultant to the politically influential Chinese Chamber of Commerce, which played a leading role in electing three San Francisco mayors. She was also a leading proponent of building a subway under San Francisco’s Chinatown, which is scheduled to open at the end of the year. San Francisco supervisors passed a resolution urging that the main stop in Chinatown be named for Pak.