The owners of a seafood restaurant located on Pier 45 in San Francisco, Min Ki Paik and Hye Paik, have been charged with bribery in connection with a scheme to acquire leases on Fisherman’s Wharf restaurant properties. Court records reveal that the Paiks allegedly paid $19,000 in bribes to a Port of San Francisco official and an undercover FBI employee posing as one. The charges include conspiracy to commit bribery and bribing an employee of an agency that receives federal funds.
The Paiks are accused of offering cash bribes on four separate occasions between September and October while attempting to acquire the vacant properties previously occupied by Pompei’s Grotto and Lou’s Fish Shack. Min Ki Paik allegedly boasted to a port employee about owning numerous businesses in the Bay Area, some of which were registered under his relatives’ names.
The FBI investigation into the Paiks began in May when a port official reported that Min Ki Paik had offered thousands of dollars in exchange for assistance in securing restaurant leases. According to the criminal complaint, Min Ki Paik paid the port employee envelopes containing $3,000 in cash on three occasions. As their relationship progressed, the employee introduced Min Ki Paik to an undercover FBI employee posing as a co-worker. During a meeting, the Paiks allegedly offered to save $240,000 over a 10-year period by submitting lease bids $2,000 below market value. They also claimed that their lease application was being expedited.
In that same meeting, Hye Paik allegedly paid both the port official and the undercover FBI employee $5,000 in cash. Min Ki Paik followed up with a text message on November 2, promising additional money once the lease was approved in June 2024. The Paiks’ next court appearance is scheduled for January 3.