Donor Supporters

Jessie Ong

Alhambra Source provides objective and important news reporting for our community.

Efren Moreno, Former Alhambra Mayor

Thank you Alhambra Source for truly informing the residents of Alhambra.

Jeff Maloney, Alhambra City Council Member

The Source has become an important source for news, public interest, and serious journalism in our community. Keep it up!

Sara Harris

As a career journalist and EJ advocate, I see community-based media like the Alhambra Source as crucial to democracy and equality.

Chris Olson

I support Alhambra Source as often as I can because I believe a free and independent press is vital to the democratic process. No other news outlet with high journalistic standards consistently covers the stories and issues that matter to our community.

Adele Andrade Stadler, Alhambra City Council Member

The Source is a great independent newspaper that celebrates the communities and is not afraid to ask the tough questions!

Cliff Bender, Vice President, Alhambra Education Foundation

I want to know what's going on in my community- News, events, and human interest stories. The Alhambra Source gives me the information I need.

Joyce & Oscar Amaro, Alhambra Preservation Group

We support Alhambra Source because this online news source is vitally important in engaging, informing and educating the residents of Alhambra.

Laura Vasquez

Alhambrans need to know the truth about our area!

Michael Lawrence, Alhambra Arts Commissioner

Keep bringing on the stories. The Source has given us so much and I am happy to donate to such an important part of our community.

Karsen Luthi

Thank you for creating Alhambra Source and providing timely reporting of important local news. Fight on!

Mr. Konnyaku

I support news reporting that is unbiased and informative. Really enjoy the excellent coverage on local city council and planning commission meetings.

Guadulesa Rivera

Alhambra Source unifies the community and keeps us involved.

Erwin Lee

Such a valuable source of what’s happening in city where we live. Objective reporting that informs us and allows us to come to our own conclusions.

Lowe’s developer arrested on federal bribery charges

Photo of Charles Company offices via Google Maps.


Alhambra , CA United States

The owner of the development company that sought to bring a Lowe’s to Alhambra last year was arrested on federal bribery charges this week.

Arman Gabaee, 57, was charged with paying monthly bribes to and attempting to purchase a home for a Los Angeles County employee in exchange for a $45 million lease, according to a press release from Nicole T. Hanna, the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California. He was arrested on Wednesday by FBI special agents and released on a $1 million bond, said Thom Mrozek, U.S Attorney’s Office spokesperson, in an email.

The federal complaint alleges that Gabaee paid monthly cash bribes of $1,000 for six years to the employee who negotiated leases for the county to rent offices from private companies “in exchange for county leases, non-public information, and other benefits,” according to the press release. In 2017, Gabay attempted to make an offer on a home in Santa Rosa, Calif., valued at more than $1 million for the employee, in exchange for the negotiation of a 10-year $45 million lease from L.A. County to rent space in the Hawthorne Mall, which Gabaee was redeveloping.

Gabaee, who is known professionally as Arman Gabay, is the co-founder and the co-owner of the Charles Company, the developer who tried to bring a Lowe’s to Alhambra in early 2017. Lowe’s withdrew from the development last fall after a local group, Grassroots Alhambra, filed a lawsuit to block construction.

Records show that Gabaee donated $5,000 each to the successful Alhambra City Council campaigns of Jeff Maloney and David Mejia in 2016. Maloney told the Alhambra Source that in light of the charges against Gabaee, he was donating the contribution to local non-profit and community groups. “During the campaign, I had the support of a lot of friends and family members and community members,” he said. “While I can’t be held responsible for the actions of any of those supporters, the right thing for me to do is to not keep this contribution.”

Alhambra City Attorney Joseph Montes said that he was unaware of any impropriety from Gabaee that was related to the Lowe’s project or Alhambra. Neither Mejia nor other city officials returned requests for comment.

Ron Sahu, an Alhambra resident and member of Grassroots Alhambra, said that this should be a lesson to the city to take a closer look at project applicants. “[Gabaee] was touted as being an upstanding developer, but was it all based on his words or does the city have a mechanism to vet that?’ he asked. “Until they have that, they’re liable to run into risks like that.”

The Alhambra Source encourages comment on our stories. However, we do not vet comments for accuracy or endorse links to posts in the comment section. The thoughts and opinions expressed belong solely to the author of the comment.

Leave a Reply

1 thought on “Lowe’s developer arrested on federal bribery charges”

  1. Grassroots Alhambra

    As stated in the article, Messrs Maloney and Mejia each accepted $5,000 in campaign contributions from Mr. Gabay, who was recently arrested on bribery charges. Since that time, they both went on to win a seat on the Alhambra city council and both subsequently voted in favor of Mr. Gabay’s proposed Lowe’s project in Alhambra. Saying that you will now “give back” $5,000 to a community group just doesn’t cut it. That money was already effectively spent. You can’t un-ring a bell.

    It’s time for campaign finance reform!