Democrat Ron Calderon was indicted by a federal grand jury last
week on two dozen counts of bribery, fraud, money laundering and
Prosecutors gave the 56-year-old lawmaker, member of a family
political dynasty going back several decades in California, until
Monday to turn himself in. He was scheduled for an arraignment in
U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on Monday afternoon.
State senate leader Darrell Steinberg, meanwhile, has called on his
fellow Democrat to resign or take a leave of absence during the
criminal proceedings, saying that the senate would otherwise seek to
According to the 28-page indictment, Calderon is accused of taking
some $100,000 in cash bribes, along with plane trips, golf outings
and jobs for his children, in exchange for influencing legislation.
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 Ron Calderon accepted bribes from Long Beach
hospital owner Michael Drobot 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
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 an expansion of film tax credits
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Both Calderons are accused of laundering the bribe money by
funneling it through Tom Calderon's consulting firm, Californians
Tom Calderon, 59, pleaded not guilty during a brief hearing in U.S.
District Court in Los Angeles on Friday and his defense attorney,
Shepard Kopp, said that he "categorically denies" the charges
In June, FBI agents raided the Sacramento offices of Ron Calderon
and the California legislature's Latino Caucus, where he was a
member of the executive board.
In November, Calderon was removed from the board of the Latino
Caucus and from his legislative committee assignments by his
colleagues because of the investigation.
If convicted at trial, Ron Calderon, who also faces tax fraud
charges, could face a statutory maximum of nearly 400 years in
prison, although federal sentencing guidelines typically call for
much less time. Tom Calderon could face a maximum of 160 years
(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; editing by
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