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BizRate Exec Pleads Guilty to DUI

October 17, 2000|DENISE GELLENE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The chairman of BizRate.com was sentenced to five days in jail and 10 days of community service Monday after pleading guilty to one misdemeanor count of driving under the influence.

Farhad Mohit, 32, a co-founder of the online rating service, could not be reached for comment after his plea in Los Angeles Superior Court. A spokeswoman for BizRate.com, based in Marina del Rey, called the sentencing "a personal matter with no impact on the company."

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge George H. Wu suspended Mohit's driver's license for one year and fined him $1,100. Wu also ordered Mohit, as a condition of his probation, to pay any civil court judgments arising from the accident Dec. 5.

One passenger in Mohit's vehicle, Amir R. Kashani, is suing his former friend over his injuries. Kashani's attorney, Jerry Kaplan of Kaplan, Kenegos & Kadin, said his client's medical expenses are in the $500,000-plus range.

According to previous testimony, a Range Rover driven by Mohit crashed into a palm tree on Wilshire Boulevard near the La Brea Tar Pits. The accident occurred at 1:50 a.m., shortly after Mohit, Kashani and two friends who were also passengers left the Garden of Eden, a Hollywood nightclub.

Mohit, also chief strategic officer, initially pleaded not guilty to two counts of felony drunk driving. Those charges were reduced to a misdemeanor. Mohit must complete his jail term and community service by Dec. 21, which means he will miss 15 days as BizRate.com enters the busy holiday season.

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