State Sen. Ronald S. Calderon, who was indicted last week on corruption charges and accused of taking $100,000 in bribes, is expected to surrender Monday to federal authorities and appear for arraignment in federal court, his attorney said.
Calderon, 56, faces 24 counts of fraud, wire fraud, honest services fraud, bribery, conspiracy to commit money laundering, money laundering and aiding in the filing of false tax returns.
Federal authorities allege that Calderon (D-Montebello) took the bribes from a Long Beach hospital official as well as people connected to what he believed was a Hollywood studio. In fact, the studio was an FBI front and the business associates were FBI agents.
"We welcome the opportunity to disprove these allegations in a courtroom," said Calderon's attorney, Mark Geragos.
Calderon's brother, Thomas, also faces money laundering charges. Thomas Calderon is a former assemblyman who most recently served as a consultant for the Central Basin Water District.
Authorities allege that Ron Calderon took bribes from Michael Drobot, the former owner of Pacific Hospital in Long Beach.
According to a U.S. attorney's office statement, "Drobot bribed Ron Calderon by hiring Calderon’s college-age son to work as a file clerk at his company and paying him approximately $30,000 over the course of three summers. Ron Calderon’s son showed up for only about 15 days of work each summer, according to the indictment, which also accused Ron Calderon of accepting plane trips, golf outings and expensive dinners from Drobot. Ron Calderon allegedly arranged meetings between Drobot and other public officials and helped Drobot attempt to persuade the other legislators" to help with bills favorable to his business.
Drobot has pleaded guilty to conspiracy and to paying illegal kickbacks, according to the U.S. attorney.
Calderon faces up to 395 years in prison if convicted.
[For the Record, 12 p.m. PST Feb. 24: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated the charges faced by Thomas Calderon. He is accused only of money laundering.]
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