Former Assemblyman Calderon sentenced for money laundering
Former California State Assemblyman Tom Calderon has been sentenced to one year in jail after he pleaded guilty to money laundering for allowing bribe payments to his brother to be funneled through his consulting firm.
Calderon, 62, was sentenced Monday by U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder, who ordered that he serve half his sentence in federal prison and half in home detention. The judge also ordered Calderon to serve 100 hours of community service.
Snyder showed some leniency due to Calderon’s significant health problems, with a sentence that puts Calderon in prison for significantly less time than the 18 to 24 months called for under federal sentencing guidelines, reported the Los Angeles Times.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Calderon, a resident of Montebello, pleaded guilty on June 6 to one count of money laundering and admitted that he agreed to conceal bribe payments coming from two undercover FBI agents by having the money go through his political consulting company, the Calderon Group.
The bribes were made to Tom Calderon’s brother, former state Sen. Ron Calderon. Ron Calderon pleaded guilty on June 21 and admitted to accepting bribes from undercover FBI agents who had posed as independent filmmakers wanting changes to California’s film tax credit program.
According to prosecutors, Ron Calderon agreed to support an expansion of a state law that gave tax credits to independent film studios with production costs of more than $1 million. In exchange for $60,000 in bribes, Ron Calderon agreed to support new legislation to reduce that threshold to $750,000. Half of the bribe money was then laundered through Tom Calderon’s consulting company, reported Deadline.com.
Ron Calderon also pleaded guilty to accepting bribe payments from Michael Drobot, the former owner of Pacific Hospital in Long Beach, who wanted a health care law to remain in effect so he could reap millions in profits, according to the Department of Justice. The payments from Drobot came in the form of summer employment for Ron Calderon’s son, who was hired as a summer file clerk at the hospital and received a total of $30,000 over three years, despite the son doing little actual work at the hospital, prosecutors said.