Yosef Tahbazof: Is He a Criminal? (2024)

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Attorney and real estate developer Yosef Tahbazof of San Francisco resigned from the city’s Assessment Appeals Board following his involvement in a public corruption inquiry. Tahbazof resigned after being charged with engaging in inappropriate official activity. I know a lot of details about him and the corruption case he is a part of. After reading my piece, feel free to leave a comment below with your ideas.

What was Yosef Tahbazof’s connection to the San Francisco Corruption Scandal?

Yosef Tahbazof

An inquiry is underway into the involvement of former San Francisco official Yosef Tahbazof in a criminal corruption case involving a disgraced construction inspector. Yosef Tahbazof’s involvement in the matter caused him to resign from his position on the Assessment Appeals Board. Tahbazof’s rulings are currently being looked into by the city of San Francisco.

In reaction to disclosures that were made public in The Standard, Yosef Tahbazof submitted his resignation from the Board of Supervisors following pressure from Board President Aaron Peskin. 

Only recently resigned from his position on the Assessment Appeals Board, the official Yosef Tahbazof did not respond when asked for his thoughts. After leaving the board, Tahbazof wrote an email to the staff of the Assessment Appeals Board expressing his gratitude for the work they had done together and wishing the board luck in its further endeavors.

A vote history review of Mr. Tahbazof’s complete voting record will be conducted by the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors’ office, as confirmed by an official in their internal investigation. They will do this review in tandem with their inquiry.

Furthermore, it was mentioned that, as far as they knew, a different county assessment appeals board takes a closer look at appeals submitted by Yosef Tahbazof, his family members, or clients he represents than the one that hears the appeals from the clients directly. Wilson Ng, the deputy director of the office, provided this information.

In this situation, a public official’s withdrawal is part of an ongoing investigation of his decisions and conduct, and the review process aims to protect the integrity of the city’s assessment appeals procedure. The investigation is examining the decisions and actions taken by the public officials.

The offices of the City Attorney, the Assessor-Recorder Joaquín Torres, and the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors are looking into Tahbazof’s past on behalf of the city. The goal of the assessment is for the city to maintain the credibility of its processes and regain the trust of its citizens in the caliber of their output.

Tahbazof was originally nominated to the Assessment Appeals Board post by the Board of Supervisors and has been serving on it since 2013. This organization is in charge of settling disputes between taxpayers and the valuer over the amount that ought to be allocated to each property. It is noteworthy to mention that Tahbazof’s family is actively involved in the development, ownership, and management of real estate through multiple organizations in the San Francisco area.

In early 2017, developer Freydoon Ghassemzadeh loaned $180,000 to then-city building inspector Bernie Curran. A report in the media claims that court documents show Yosef Tahbazof helped prepare the terms of the loan.

The details of Curran’s loan from Ghassemzadeh were eventually revealed in 2021 after the Office of the City Attorney began investigating him. At the time he approved the last building and property records for a project owned by Ghassemzadeh, it was evident that the loan was still being repaid.

The basis for the criminal case against Curran was this loan, according to the local prosecutors. Curran has entered a not-guilty plea to the charges of fraud and interest violation brought against him in this case.

A financial services company received an email from Yosef Tahbazof on March 15, 2017, telling them to draft a loan contract, which Curran and Ghassemzadeh ultimately signed, according to the evidence in this case. The email was discovered in the case-related court filings.

Prosecutors Yosef Tahbazof and Ghassemzadeh are not listed as suspects in any criminal investigations. Ghassemzadeh had earlier declined to comment on the situation.

Yosef Tahbazof informed The Standard via email that he had “immediately” tendered his resignation upon learning that Peskin desired him to quit his role. 

The Background of Yosef Tahbazof’s Family

Via multiple companies, Yosef Tahbazof’s 72-year-old father Sia Tahbazof owns, develops, and oversees properties in San Francisco. Federal tax returns show that he and his spouse co-founded a charity that made donations totaling more than $400,000.

Political connections exist between Tahbazof and the city. In 2018, he demonstrated his political involvement by sponsoring a fundraiser for Mayor London Breed. It has been claimed that he referred to his opponent in the 2024 mayoral contest, Supervisor Ahsha Safaí, as a close family friend, demonstrating his political connections.

The defense team for former senior building inspector Bernie Curran, who is accused of corruption, referred to “Developer-1” as a wealthy individual in 2017, with a minimum net worth of $100 million. The statement claimed that Developer-1 had known Curran since the early 1990s and that Curran’s daughter, Siofra Curran, worked for him at his office until 2023.

Siofra Curran, 23, worked for seven years at the Tahbazof Law Firm and Atlas Property Group, concluding in April 2023, according to her LinkedIn page. Yosef and Sufi Hariri, attorneys, are Tahbazof’s children and operate both firms. Business documents support this, according to the property management company’s website and the legal firm’s website.

Siofra Curran submitted a paper in January that verified her employment with the Tahbazof family as part of her father’s legal battle. She wrote of her long-standing friendship—which stretches back to before she was even born—with Sia Tahbazof. During her high school years, she claimed her father approached Sia Tahbazof for permission to allow her to work part-time for the family.

Sia Tahbazof shares two key similarities with “Developer-1” in his appearance. First, the mixed-use housing project at 750 Harrison St. by SST Investments received crucial approval for a permit from Bernie Curran in 2018. Documentation from property and building inspections attests to this.

Bernie Curran gave his approval to “Developer-1″‘s project on the same day and municipal block, according to federal prosecutors. The connections suggest that Sia Tahbazof’s initiatives are related to “Developer-1,” which provides compelling proof against Curran in the fraud investigation.

Second, Curran’s attorneys described the “tortured chain” of events that had to happen before Curran could eventually secure funds from Developer-1. At the start of the chain was a $300,000 check written by Developer-1 to a relative, which ended with a check written to Curran.

Records from a second state case that local prosecutors filed against Curran show the same series of transactions. The Standard was the first to acquire access to these records. A $300,000 check written by SST Investments to Freydoon Ghassemzadeh marked the beginning of the series of events, while a payment made to Curran marked the end.

Ghassemzadeh, an 86-year-old man, is Sia Tahbazof’s brother-in-law, based on posts on her social media profiles and the property records.

When questioned over the phone about his relationship with Curran, Sia Tahbazof hung up and wouldn’t talk about it. He did not respond to our follow-up questions after we followed up with him and allowed him to clarify that he was not Developer-1.

Regarding the identity of Developer-1, the United States Attorney’s Office did not reply to the inquiries. No charges against Sia Tahbazof have been made public by the office.

Both Siofra Curran and a lawyer representing Bernie Curran declined to cooperate.

The Bottom Line

Because of this, it is simple to see why Yosef Tahbazof, a former member of the Assessment Appeals Board in San Francisco, resigned from his position following the revelation that he had ties to a disgraced building inspector in a corruption case. To ensure the integrity of earlier decisions, many local organizations have already begun reviewing his record. 

Investigations are underway into the circumstances surrounding Tahbazof’s connection to the $180,000 loan that is the focus of the corruption probe. Along with other property owners, Bernie Curran—who had served as the senior building inspector in the past—was linked to the loan. 

Yosef Tahbazof, Sia Tahbazof, and Freydoon Ghassemzadeh have not yet been accused of any wrongdoing, but Curran has been accused of perjury and conflict of interest. This situation entails a great deal of intricate financial dealings, and there are rumors that the funding source has been hidden.

You can find out more information on Yosef Tahbazof and his other family members’ corrupt practices by clicking on the links provided below to learn more about this issue.

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