Sentencian a Ex Asambleísta de Montebello por Soborno

September 15, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

El ex asambleísta del área de Montebello, Tom Calderón, recibió una sentencia de 10 meses, el 12 de septiembre, de encarcelamiento dividida en una prisión estatal y monitoreo eléctrico. Esto, a por ayudar a esconder sobornos, los cuales su hermano, ex senador Ron Calderón recibió durante una operación del FBI.

Al imponer la sentencia, Christina Snyder, la juez del Distrito de Estados Unidos, dijo que consideró el mal estado de salud de Tom Calderón, quien fue operado del corazón recientemente.

“Solamente quiero poder sobrevivir esto”, dijo a la corte el ex legislador de 62 años y ex miembro del consejo escolar. Él fue ordenado a entregarse para empezar su sentencia el 27 de octubre.

Tom Calderón se declaró culpable en junio, a cargos de lavado de dinero y admitió en dejar que $30,000 se transfirieran de parte de un agente encubierto al Grupo Calderón. El dinero, según, era para pagarle al hermano menor de Calderón, por su apoyo en bajar el límite de los impuestos de filmación en California de $1 millón a $750,000.

Calderón depositó el dinero en la cuenta de banco de la compañía y después emitió un cheque por $9,000 a la hija de su hermano, de acuerdo a los procuradores.

A cambio de su acuerdo de culpa, los procuradores disminuyeron seis cuentas adicionales de lavado de dinero en la asamblea del 12 de septiembre.

Mack Jenkins, el Asistente al Fiscal General, dijo que Tom Calderón fue un “político auto-hecho” quien dejó la legislatura en 2002 y quien “capitalizó sus conexiones” durante los años que fue consultante político.

Aunque hubo un periodo en el que “mejoró” a la comunidad de Montebello, Jenkins dijo que “el legado de Calderón ahora está manchada con corrupción”.

La juez sentencio al ex consultante a una sentencia de un año y un día, el tiempo mínimo para una felonía, la cual se tornará en 10 meses si el acusado tiene buena conducta durante esté bajo custodia. Él también recibió ordenes de completar 100 horas de servicio comunitario durante el año en que sea monitoreado.

Snyder dijo que corrupción de ese tipo le da a la comunidad “otro motivo para no confiar en el sistema”.

El ex legislador, Shepard Kopp, le dijo a la corte que su cliente “había hecho mucho a favor no solo de su comunidad sino de su estado, en algún entonces”.

Kopp argumentó a favor de una sentencia de prueba, al describir que Tom Calderón había sido esencial en el desarrollo económico del Valle de San Gabriel.

“Él genuinamente quería mejorar las vidas” de los residentes de Montebello, dijo el abogado defensor.

En los documentos presentados a la corte, Jenkins escribió que los hermanos Calderón son representantes del clima “en que holas de dinero sucio infectan a la política e inundan los mundos de muchos políticos”.

La sentencia de Tom Calderón “debería perturbar el clima cómodo de corrupción y dar un paso hacia la restauración de la confianza pública en el sistema democrático”, dice el documento.

Los hermanos fueron acusados por un gran jurado en una corte federal en Los Ángeles en febrero 2014.

Ron Calderón, el blanco de la investigación, fue acusado con dos docenas de cargos de felonías alegando fraude electrónico, fraude por correo, fraude de servicios honestos, soborno en conexión de programas con financiamientos federales, conspiración de lavado de dinero, lavado de dinero, y asistimiento a el archivo de declaraciones de impuestos falsos.

Subsecuentemente, él se declaró culpable del cargo de fraude por correo, admitiendo que acepto miles de dólares en sobornos a cambio de operar ciertas funciones legisladoras, de acuerdo a su alegato de culpabilidad.

Los procuradores dijeron que Ron Calderón se embolsó $88,000 en sobornos, al igual de comidas gourmet y escapadas de golf, de parte del dueño de una compañía médica y de un agente encubierto del FBI, pretendiendo ser un ejecutivo de filmación. Calderón fue suspendido de su cargo como senador en 2014 y su termino acabó nueve meses después.

El acuerdo de culpabilidad para Ron Calderón, no excederá más de seis años en prisión, según prometieron los procuradores federales. El será sentenciado el próximo mes.

Tom Calderón representó al Distrito Estatal de Asamblea 58 desde 1998-2002 y previamente fue parte del Distrito Unificado Escolar de Montebello.

Tom Calderon Sentenced to Federal Prison, Electric Monitoring

September 12, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Former Montebello-area Assemblyman Tom Calderon was sentenced today to a 10-month split sentence of federal prison and electronic monitoring for helping conceal bribe money his brother, former Democratic state Sen. Ron Calderon, received during an FBI sting.

In imposing the sentence, U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder said she took into account Tom Calderon’s health problems that resulted in recent triple bypass surgery.

“I just want to be able to survive this,” Tom Calderon, 62, told the court.

The ex-lawmaker and former Montebello school board member pleaded guilty in June to a money laundering count in which he admitted allowing $30,000 from an undercover agent to be funneled through his Calderon Group as payment for his younger brother to support lowering the threshold for California’s film tax credit from $1 million to $750,000.

He deposited the $30,000 into the company’s bank account and then wrote a check for $9,000 to his brother’s daughter, according to prosecutors.

In exchange for his guilty plea, prosecutors dropped six remaining money-laundering counts at today’s hearing.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mack Jenkins said that Tom Calderon was a “self-made politician” who left the legislature in 2002 and “capitalized on his connections” during the ensuing years as a political consultant.

Although there was a period when he was “doing good” for the Montebello community, Jenkins said, “the Calderon legacy is now mired in corruption.”

The judge sentenced the former consultant to a year-and-a-day in custody, a minimum federal felony sentence, which actually yields a 10-month term if the defendant behaves while in custody. Tom Calderon was also ordered to complete 100 hours of community service during his year of supervised release.

Snyder said such public corruption cases give the public “another reason to question the system.”

The ex-legislator’s attorney, Shepard Kopp, told the court that his client had once “done a lot of good – not only for the community but the state.”

Kopp described Tom Calderon as a “prime-mover” who was instrumental in the economic development of the San Gabriel Valley.

“He genuinely wanted to improve the lives” of the residents of Montebello, the defense attorney said.

In papers filed with the court, Jenkins wrote that the Calderon brothers are representative of a climate “where waves of dark money infect politics and flood the worlds of many politicians.”

Tom Calderon’s sentence “should be part of disrupting that comfortable climate of corruption and a step towards restoring public trust in the democratic system,” according to the document.

The siblings were indicted by a Los Angeles federal grand jury in February 2014.

Ron Calderon, the target of the investigation, was charged with two-dozen felony counts alleging wire fraud, mail fraud, honest services fraud, bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds, conspiracy to commit money laundering, money laundering, and aiding in the filing of false tax returns.

The former state senator subsequently pleaded guilty to a mail fraud charge, admitting that he accepted tens of thousands of dollars in bribes in exchange for performing official acts as a legislator, according to his plea agreement.

Prosecutors said Ron Calderon pocketed $88,000 in bribes, as well as gourmet meals and golf outings, from a medical company owner and an undercover FBI agent posing as a film executive. He was suspended from the state Senate in March 2014, and his term in office ended nine months later.

Ron Calderon’s plea deal — under which federal prosecutors promised not to seek a prison sentence of more than about six years – came several weeks before he was scheduled to go on trial. He is expected to be sentenced next month.

Tom Calderon represented the 58th State Assembly District from 1998-2002 and previously served on the Montebello Unified School District.

Calderon Faces Up to Six Years in Federal Prison

June 21, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Former state Sen. Ron Calderon pleaded guilty today to a federal mail fraud charge, weeks after his brother, also a former lawmaker, admitted allowing bribe money earmarked for his sibling to be
funneled through his firm.

Calderon admitted that he accepted tens of thousands of dollars in bribes in exchange for performing official acts as a legislator, according to his plea agreement.

The 58-year-old Montebello resident entered his plea to one count of mail fraud through the deprivation of honest services before U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder in downtown Los Angeles.

The agreement – under which federal prosecutors promised not to seek a sentence of more than about six years in federal prison – came several weeks before Calderon was scheduled to go on trial on charges contained in a 24-count indictment filed in 2014.

Snyder scheduled sentencing for Sept. 19.

In the plea agreement, Calderon admits accepting bribe payments from the owner of a Long Beach hospital who wanted a law to remain in effect so he could continue to reap millions of dollars in illicit profits from a separate fraud scheme, and from undercover FBI agents who were posing as independent filmmakers who wanted changes to the state’s Film Tax Credit program.

Calderon’s elder brother, a former assemblyman who became a political consultant, pleaded guilty June 6 to a federal money laundering charge and will be sentenced Sept. 12.

Prosecutors have agreed to recommend a sentence of no more than a year in prison for Tom Calderon, 62, also of Montebello.

He admitted that he agreed to conceal bribe payments for his brother from the two undercover FBI agents by having the money go through his company, the Calderon Group. The payments were made “to conceal and disguise the fact that the money represented the proceeds of bribery,” according to his plea agreement.

“The Calderon brothers shamelessly defrauded the citizens of California to their right to honest services through an illicit bribery scheme,” said Anthony J. Orlando, IRS Criminal Investigation’s acting special agent in charge. “IRS CI tirelessly untangled the web of fraudulent transactions that
lead to these corrupt individuals being held accountable for their actions.”

The Calderon brothers were indicted on two dozen counts, including wire fraud, mail fraud, honest services fraud, bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds, conspiracy to commit money laundering, money laundering, and aiding in the filing of false tax returns.

Ron Calderon was accused of accepting $80,000 in bribes, as well as gourmet meals and golf outings, from a medical company owner and an undercover FBI agent posing as a film executive.

He was suspended from the state Senate in March 2014, and his term in office ended nine months later.

Tom Calderon represented his Montebello-area district in the California
Assembly from 1998-2002.

Senador de California Se Declara Culpable de Recibir Sobornos

June 16, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

El senador Ron Calderón aceptó el lunes declarase culpable en un caso en su contra por “corrupción federal” y en una declaración admitió haber recibido “decenas de miles de dólares” en sobornos, informó la fiscalía del Distrito Central de California.

El hispano, de 58 años y que representaba a Montebello en el Senado de California, aceptó declarar su culpabilidad en una acusación formulada en 2014 que contiene 24 cargos.

En el acuerdo judicial, Calderón aceptó haber recibido sobornos del dueño de una clínica de Long Beach para que no se modificara una legislación que le permitía presentar facturas adulteradas a los servicios de salud del estado.

El hermano de Calderón, Thomas Calderón, de 62 años y ex miembro de la Asamblea de California que se convirtió en un consultor político, también se declaró culpable la semana pasada de lavado de dinero proveniente de los sobornos de su hermano.

“Los funcionarios públicos que incurren en conductas corruptas amenazan el tejido básico de nuestra democracia”, aseguró la fiscal de este distrito, Eileen Decker.

“Los Calderón han aceptado sus roles en un esquema de engaño en el que dinero que ellos y sus familias recibían estaba dirigiendo una legislación que hubiera beneficiado a unos pocos individuos”, agregó.

Entre los cargos presentados contra Ron Calderón figuran fraude electrónico y postal, sobornos, conspiración y lavado de dinero y fraude fiscal, entre otros.

Según la acusación, el senador hispano promovió una ley para ofrecer un alivio impositivo a los estudios de cine en 2009 y ayudó a que se mantuviera sin modificación durante varios años una legislación que permitió que las aseguradoras tuvieran que pagar precios inflados por equipos de salud.

La investigación alega que además del dinero recibido el senador solicitó y aceptó boletos de avión, cenas en restaurantes exclusivos y viajes para jugar golf a cambio de su apoyo legislativo.

Una de las personas claves en la investigación del FBI es Michael D. Drobot, dueño y cabeza principal de un grupo de servicios de salud en California y generoso donante de Calderón y su hermano.

Former Montebello Senator Set to Plead Guilty

June 13, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Former state Sen. Ron Calderon agreed Tuesday to plead guilty to a federal mail fraud charge, days after his brother, also a former lawmaker, admitted allowing bribe money earmarked for his sibling to be funneled through his firm.

Calderon admits that he accepted tens of thousands of dollars in bribes in exchange for performing official acts as a legislator, according to his plea agreement.

The 58-year-old Montebello resident is expected to enter his plea to one count of mail fraud through the deprivation of honest services this week before a federal judge in Los Angeles.

The agreement – under which federal prosecutors agreed not to seek a sentence of more than about six years in federal prison – comes several weeks before Calderon was scheduled to go on trial on charges contained in a 24-count indictment filed in 2014.

In the plea agreement, Calderon admits accepting bribe payments from the owner of a Long Beach hospital who wanted a law to remain in effect so he could continue to reap millions of dollars in illicit profits from a separate fraud scheme, and from undercover FBI agents who were posing as independent filmmakers who wanted changes to the state’s Film Tax Credit program.

Calderon’s elder brother, a former member of the California State Assembly who became a political consultant, pleaded guilty last week to a federal money laundering charge.

Prosecutors have agreed to recommend a sentence of no more than a year in prison for Tom Calderon, 62, also of Montebello.

He admitted that he agreed to conceal bribe payments for his brother from the two undercover FBI agents by having the money go through his company, the Calderon Group.

The payments were made “to conceal and disguise the fact that the money represented the proceeds of bribery,” according to his plea agreement.

“The Calderon brothers shamelessly defrauded the citizens of California to their right to honest services through an illicit bribery scheme,” said Anthony J. Orlando, IRS Criminal Investigation’s acting special agent in charge.

“IRS CI tirelessly untangled the web of fraudulent transactions that lead to these corrupt individuals being held accountable for their actions.”

The Calderon brothers were indicted on two dozen counts, including wire fraud, mail fraud, honest services fraud, bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds, conspiracy to commit money laundering, money laundering, and aiding in the filing of false tax returns.

Ron Calderon was accused of accepting $80,000 in bribes, as well as gourmet meals and golf outings, from a medical company owner and an undercover FBI agent posing as a film executive.

He was suspended from the state Senate in March 2014, and his term in office ended nine months later.

Tom Calderon represented his Montebello-area district in the California Assembly from 1998-2002.

Former Montebello Lawmaker Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering

June 6, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Former Democratic Assemblyman Tom Calderon pleaded guilty Monday to a federal money laundering charge in a corruption case that also involves his brother, former state Sen. Ron Calderon.

Tom Calderon admitted before U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder that he helped conceal bribe money his brother was receiving from undercover agents working for the FBI.

“Guilty, your honor,” the former assemblyman said when prompted by the judge in the near-empty downtown Los Angeles courtroom.

Defense attorney Shepard Kopp said outside court that the agreement did not call for his client to testify against his brother. Federal prosecutors made no comment after the hearing.

Snyder scheduled a Sept. 12 sentencing hearing. The plea is expected to result in reduced prison time of no more than a year, fines, a period of supervised release and the dismissal of other charges.

The Calderon brothers were indicted on two-dozen counts, including wire fraud, mail fraud, honest services fraud, bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds, conspiracy to commit money laundering, money laundering, and aiding in the filing of false tax returns.

Ron Calderon – whose trial is set for July 19 – is accused of accepting $80,000 in bribes, as well as gourmet meals and golf outings, from a medical company owner and an undercover FBI agent posing as a film executive.

He was suspended from the state Senate in March 2014, and his term in office ended nine months later.

Tom Calderon represented his Montebello-area district in the California Assembly from 1998-2002.

According to the plea agreement signed today, Tom Calderon allowed $30,000 from an undercover agent to be funneled through his Calderon Group as payment for his lawmaker brother to support lowering the threshold for California’s film tax credit from $1 million to $750,000.

Tom Calderon deposited the $30,000 into the company’s bank account and then wrote a check for $9,000 to Ron Calderon’s daughter, according to prosecutors.

“Defendant conducted these financial transactions in order to conceal and disguise the fact that the money represented the proceeds of bribery,” the document states.

Updated 6:27 p.m.

Ron Calderon’s Defense Claims Government Leaked Sealed Affidavit

May 29, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Lawyers for Ron Calderon allege in court papers that federal corruption charges against their client should be thrown out because prosecutors engaged in “outrageous government conduct” by leaking a sealed, 124-page affidavit detailing the FBI’s investigation of the ex-state senator to a cable news network, according to documents obtained Thursday.

Although Calderon’s defense believes the alleged 2013 leak to Al Jazeera America warrants dismissal of the 24-count indictment, his attorneys are asking the judge to conduct a pre-trial evidentiary hearing as an alternative.

At such a hearing, “the defense will establish conclusively that the government can have been the only source of the leak of a 124-page sealed affidavit to Al Jazeera, and that said leak has irreparably prejudiced Senator Calderon,” attorney Mark Geragos wrote in the Tuesday filing.

Many of the allegations against Calderon, including details of the government’s probe of the ex-senator, were revealed by Al Jeezara months before he and his brother were named in a February 2014 grand jury indictment.

An evidentiary hearing would “compel the attendance and testimony of the Al Jazeera reporters connected to the article that included the leaked affidavit,” Geragos wrote.

Prosecutors are expected to file their response to the motion before a July 13 hearing to discuss the matter and other pretrial issues.

“The government is the only plausible source of the illegal leak,” according to the new filing. “Put another way, at the time of the leak, nobody, other than the government, had access to the sealed affidavit.”

“Moreover, Senator Calderon’s defense notes that there has been a history of alleged leaks emanating from the U.S. Attorney’s Office … including in high-profile matters such as the doping investigation of cyclist Lance Armstrong,” Geragos contends. “Similarly, the U.S .Attorney’s Office is keenly aware of how important secrecy is to certain phases of criminal prosecution.”

In case of trial, the attorney argues, “it is unquestionable that the leaked affidavit will be republished by virtually every media outlet, thereby creating further, irreparable prejudice.”

The Oct. 30, 2013 Al Jazeera article contains descriptions and names of numerous potential witnesses, the nature of the allegations against Calderon, details of the investigation, and purported conversations with the former politician.

The article mentions that the affidavit was “still under seal.”

Geragos contends that as of this week, the U.S. Department of Justice
was still investigating the leak.

In other defense filings in the case, an attorney for the ex-state senator’s brother and co-defendant, onetime Assemblyman Tom Calderon, have asked that their client be tried separately.

Shepard Kopp is requesting that U.S. District Judge Christina A. Snyder consider separating the brothers’ trials or severing the eight counts in which the former assemblyman is charged from the counts leveled against the ex-state senator.

Snyder recently granted a third delay in the start of the trial, from Aug. 11 to March 1 of next year.

The brothers were indicted on two-dozen counts, which include wire fraud, mail fraud, honest services fraud, bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds, conspiracy to commit money laundering, money laundering, and aiding in the filing of false tax returns.

Ron Calderon is accused of accepting $80,000 in bribes, as well as gourmet meals and golf outings, from a medical company owner and an undercover FBI agent posing as a film executive.

He was suspended from the Senate in March 2014, and his term in office ended in November.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas M. Miller has indicated that a superseding indictment containing additional criminal charges could be forthcoming.

Copyright © 2019 Eastern Group Publications/EGPNews, Inc. ·