United States Attorney Kevin V. Ryan announced that a federal grand jury in San Francisco earlier today indicted Colma City Council member Philip J. Lum on public-corruption charges in connection with allegations that Mr. Lum accepted first-class and coach airline tickets to the Philippines from the owner of a Colma casino and took official City Council actions that benefitted that casino.
According to the indictment, Mr. Lum, 53, is alleged to have accepted first-class and coach airline tickets to the Philippines in the years 1999, 2000, and 2001 as gifts from the owner of Lucky Chances Casino. The indictment alleges that Mr. Lum did not report these gifts on his California Form 700, which he was required to file annually under penalty of perjury, nor did he otherwise disclose these gifts. After concealing these reportable interests, Mr. Lum allegedly voted in favor of issues which he knew would directly benefit Lucky Chances Casino, its owner, or both.
“Elected representatives owe a duty of honest services to the people they serve,” U.S. Attorney Kevin V. Ryan said. “According to this indictment, an elected member of City Council breached this duty by failing to disclose gifts from an entity who was benefitting from his votes on the City Council. My office is committed to investigating and rooting out corruption at all levels of government.”
Mr. Lum has been a member of the Colma City Council since 1986. Lum will make his initial appearance in federal court in San Francisco on October 10, 2006 before Magistrate Judge Elizabeth D. Laporte.
The maximum statutory penalty for each count of conspiracy and theft of honest services mail fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371 and 18 U.S.C. §§ 1341, 1346, and 2 is 20 years and a fine of $250,000. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
An indictment contains only allegations against an individual and, as with all defendants, Mr. Lum must be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Tina Hua and Robin Harris are the Assistant U.S. Attorneys who are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Ana Guerra. The prosecution is the result of a three year investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
A copy of this press release may be found on the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s website at www.usdoj.gov/usao/can.
Electronic court filings and further procedural and docket information are available at https://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl.
Judges’ calendars with schedules for upcoming court hearings can be viewed on the court’s website at www.cand.uscourts.gov.
All press inquiries to the U.S. Attorney’s Office should be directed to Luke Macaulay at (415) 436-6757 or by email at [email protected]