Jimmy Jen, Former City Building Official, Charged with 232 Felonies

Categories: Crime, Government
The Alexandria Theater is among Jimmy Jen's allegedly fraudulent projects
Jimmy Jen, a former city plan-checker and private engineer, has been charged with 232 felonies stemming from alleged fraud on construction projects throughout the city.

San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris asserted in a press conference today that Jen, whose business license has been suspended, forged the signatures of other civil engineers on documents related to about 100 properties.

Jen was arrested yesterday with an associate, Jian Min Fong, who faces 88 felony charges related to the alleged fraud. The projects for which documents were forged were primarily residential, Harris said, although they also include the landmark renovation of the Richmond District's Alexandria Theater.

Harris also said prosecutors are continuing to look into whether any city officials in the Department of Building Inspection were complicit in Jen's crimes, since hundreds of forged documents -- remarkably -- passed through City Hall without anybody raising a red flag.

"We still have many questions, and the investigation is ongoing," Harris said.

Jen is something of a legendary scofflaw in San Francisco, and already owes the city more than a million dollars in civil penalties for code violations.

He has also been the subject of investigations into multiple house-fires that appeared suspicious, including a blaze that consumed his neighbor's house after she complained about code violations on his property. He has never been charged in connection with the fires, however.

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