Zhang Li is the billionaire cofounder and CEO of China’s biggest property development company. R&F Properties Co. Ltd. bought large areas of land in America through Z&L Properties.
Z&L Properties was its U.S. affiliate and went on a buying spree from 2014 to 2015. The company bought land in San Francisco, Fremont, Santa Clara, and San Jose with plans for 3,400 housing units.
Zhang Li was taken into London custody on November 30th. He was placed under house arrest until extradition proceedings in the United States.
According to the South China Morning Post:
Zhang Li is the billionaire founder of Guangzhou R&F Properties Co. Ltd., China. He is being sought by the US for alleged kickbacks that he received in order to secure contracts in California.
Zhang is a former official of the Chinese government and rose to the top of one of China’s most important real-estate companies.
Monday, Judge John Zani granted bail for PS15 million (US $18.4 million), at Westminster Magistrates Court. This is the largest sum ever recorded by UK courts.
He will be confined 24 hours a day in an apartment on the 43rd floor of a London tower, monitored by security and CCTV.
The 69-year-old Zhang is alleged to have “provided kickbacks and funds to co-conspirators in order to obtain the appropriate permits for a construction project”, according to a court listing.
R&F operated in the US via a domestic affiliate. The listing states that the company was involved in a multi-million-dollar mixed-use residential-commercial development project in San Francisco.
Who was the person who allegedly helped smoothen the path for these permits? Mohammed Nuru (ex-San Francisco Public Works Chief), ironically @MrCleanSF. Nuru is, however, anything but. Jennifer Van Laar, our Managing Editor, reported on Nuru’s case in 2020.
The FBI arrested Monday afternoon the man responsible for keeping San Francisco’s streets clean. He was clearly a failure. Mohammed Nuru, San Francisco’s Public Works Director, was arrested Monday afternoon. He is a Willie Brown protégé. In 2000, he was appointed to the first executive position in the department. Mayor Ed Lee made him the Director.
Federal prosecutors released Tuesday’s indictment claiming that Nick Bovis (lefty O’Doul’s owner) conspired with the San Francisco International Airport Commission to grant Bovis a license. However, the commissioner rebuffed the scheme, claiming she didn’t need the money. The men are not required by law to have executed the scheme to be found guilty of the crime.
Nuru allegedly rigged bids to obtain contracts for container shelters and porta potties for the homeless in exchange for a $270 wine bottle and a trip for two to China.
This was where Zhang Li was discovered by the FBI during their investigation into Nuru. Nuru was sentenced to a seven-year term of imprisonment and a $35,000 fine. Mission Local reported that Nuru had connections to Zhang Li and R&F Properties Co. Ltd.
Today, Dennis Herrera, the City Attorney, issued 14 subpoenas to Mohammed Nuru in connection with the FBI’s latest arrest. Nuru is accused of trying to assist the undercover in exchange for gifts from the Chinese billionaire builder.
Six companies were subpoenaed in response to the subpoenas. They all had connections with Zhang Li, the developer. Walter Wong, a San Francisco permit expediter, was responsible for permits for 555 Fulton. Today, subpoenas were issued to four businesses that he owns at 205 13th St.
Nuru was a rising star in San Francisco’s government. London breed, who is currently the mayor of San Francisco, had also been in a 20-year relationship with Nuru. The San Francisco Cabal seems to be going on unchecked.
R&F Properties offered Bail for Li and said that it would fight extradition.
R&F Properties, which is listed in Hong Kong, has paid PS10 million for bail. It claimed on WeChat that it was fighting “false allegations” that Zhang was being accused of bribery in hosting a dinner and providing accommodation at a hotel for an ex-San Francisco public affairs executive.
This apartment will contain five bedrooms, and former military personnel will be on guard during 12-hour shifts.
According to the security manager, strict security and setup are meant closely to mimic the standards of a prisoner on remand. It seems that the U.S. may have more information about Li than Nuru.