FBI Informant Sues Disgraced Mayor

      LOS ANGELES (CN) – A developer who claims to be the FBI informant who helped convict Rosemead Mayor John Tran of corruption claims in Superior Court that Tran extorted her, made sexual advances and threatened to kill her.
     Tammy Gong and L&G Rosemead Garden LLC sued the City of Rosemead and Tran, in Superior Court. Gong seeks $10 million for fraud and extortion, money lent, assault and battery and other charges. She claims Rosemead refused to compensate her for losses tied to the real estate project at the center of Tran’s shakedown.
     Gong, who claims she was an informant to the FBI and helped the investigation against Tran, says she is managing member of L&G Rosemead Garden.
     Tran, 36, pleaded guilty in February to soliciting bribes from a developer while approval for a mixed use office and residential building was pending. In return for his guilty plea, federal prosecutors will not press charges for extortion and obstruction of justice, the Los Angeles Times reported at the time.
     Tran, a former Rosemead mayor and councilman, was running for the 49th District Assembly seat when he pleaded guilty. He has since resigned as board member for El Monte Union High School District, and withdrew his candidacy for the Assembly. He was Rosemead’s first Asian-American mayor.
     Gong claims she partnered with then-Councilman Tran and the city from 2005 to 2007 to build the mixed-use building, spent $780,000 to buy land on Rosemead’s Valley Boulevard and another $700,000 to buy an adjoining parcel after the city came on board.
     While the application for the project was pending, Gong says, she loaned Tran $38,000 for an “alleged family emergency,” and that Tran also approached her to “engage in a romantic relationship.”
     Gong claims that Tran never repaid the money, and that when she rejected his advances he stalled the development project.
     Elsewhere in the complaint, Gong claims that Tran “physically grabbed” her and “attempted to hold and kiss her against her will.”
     “Plaintiffs allege that Tran continued to pursue Ms. Gong for a romantic relationship and continued to try to contact her. Ms. Gong refused any further financial or personal overtures by Tran and demanded repayment of the money that she had given to him,” according to the 15-page complaint.
     “Tran refused to return the money and in or about February 2009, Tran overtly threatened to kill Ms. Gong if she ever reported him to any authorities. Ms. Gong felt extremely threatened and fearful for her life and safety and contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation (‘FBI’) for help. Ms. Gong cooperated with the FBI in its investigation. Pursuant to the FBI’s confidential investigative needs, Ms. Gong did not file a claim or civil lawsuit against Tran until completion of the FBI’s investigation, which ultimately resulted in Tran’s felony conviction,” according to the complaint.
     In 2009, Tran was voted off the council and the project was never approved, according to the L.A. Times.
     Gong claims that city officials told her she would have to file a claim to recover any losses. But after Tran was charged with felony corruption charges, the city rejected her claims “without any explanation,” Gong says.
     Gong seeks damages for fraud and extortion, money lent, promissory estoppel, assault and battery, and intention infliction of emotional distress.
     She is represented by Mohammed Ghods of Santa Ana.
     Neither the law firm nor the City of Rosemead immediately responded to requests for comment.

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