Senator Ronald Calderon of the California State Assembly was indicted Thursday on two dozen counts of bribery, fraud, money laundering and other charges, and accused of accepting $100,000 in bribes from a hospital owner and undercover FBI agents.
Prosecutors allege Calderon accepted the cash bribes, along with fancy dinners and trips to golf resorts.
The senator’s brother, Tom Calderon, a former member of the California State Assembly, was also named in the indictment and charged with conspiracy and seven counts of money laundering.
Prosecutors say Calderon accepted bribes from Michael Drobot, a Long Beach hospital owner, to preserve a legislative loophole that allowed Drobot to defraud the state’s healthcare system out of hundreds of millions of dollars.
Drobot has agreed to plead guilty to separate federal charges and is cooperating in the case against the Calderon brothers, prosecutors say.
Calderon is also accused of accepting money from undercover FBI agents — who he thought worked for an independent Hollywood movie studio — in exchange for supporting legislation that would expand film tax credits in California.
If convicted at trial of all counts, Ron Calderon could face a statutory maximum of nearly 400 years in prison, although federal sentencing guidelines typically call for much less time, as Reuters reported on Monday.
Tom Calderon could face a maximum of 160 years behind bars.
Julie DiMauro is the executive editor of FCPA Blog and can be reached here.
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