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San Francisco Corruption Scandal: Contractor Gets Prison For Bribing Mohammed Nuru With $36,000 Rolex

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – The owner of a recycling business has received prison time for bribing former San Francisco Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru, as part of an ongoing corruption probe by federal officials.

On Thursday, Judge William Orrick sentenced Florence Kong to one year and one day in prison after pleading guilty to bribing a public official and making false statements to FBI agents. Following her prison term, Kong was also sentenced to three years of supervised release. Kong, a Hayward resident who previously lived in Hillsborough, has also been ordered to pay a $95,000 fine.

Prosecutors said Kong, who owned SFR Recovery Inc., showered Nuru with gifts for directing business to her company, which had a public contract with the city to dispose construction debris. Among the gifts given to Nuru was a Rolex watch worth $36,550.

Nuru Rolex
Prosecutors said this Rolex watch given to former San Francisco Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru as a bribe. (U.S. Attorney's Office)

Kong also admitted to making repeated false statements to the FBI, telling agents they never discussed business, that he didn't help her with contracts and that she never gave money to the former Public Works director.

"In this case, a Bay Area millionaire used her wealth to bribe Mr. Nuru and secure her own company's contract; leaving honest, hardworking contractors unable to compete for business and ultimately compromising the entire system of fair competition," said Craig Fair, FBI Special Agent in Charge.

At least 10 people have been charged in connection with the scandal, including numerous city contractors and San Francisco City Administrator Harlan Kelly, who stepped down late last year. Prosecutors allege that Nuru took hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes, which included cash, meals and work on his vacation home, from those who obtained city contracts.

"Both corrupt officials and those who corrupt them are accountable for their crimes," said David Anderson, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Northern California.

Anderson, who is stepping down at the end of the month, hinted the corruption probe would continue on. "Our City Hall prosecutions are not over. The investigation continues," he said.

Prosecutors said Kong is currently out of custody and is scheduled to begin serving her sentence on August 13.

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