State Sen. Ronald S. Calderon (D-Montebello) faces charges of bribery, fraud, money laundering and related offenses.(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press / January 6, 2014)
Calderon (D-Montebello) initially agreed to wear a wire in an effort to implicate other politicians, authorities said. That arrangement eventually fell apart, and on Friday prosecutors announced a sweeping indictment against Calderon charging him with bribery, fraud, money laundering and related offenses. Calderon's brother, Thomas, a former member of the California Assembly, is also charged with money laundering.
The charges stem from a scheme in which Ronald Calderon allegedly solicited and accepted nearly $100,000 in cash bribes, as well as gourmet meals and golf outings, in exchange for his influence as a lawmaker. His actions, prosecutors say, helped facilitate a half-billion-dollar healthcare fraud — one of the largest such scams in the state's history.
The mastermind of the healthcare fraud was Michael Drobot, who had owned Pacific Hospital in Long Beach. Drobot has admitted to bribing Calderon to use his influence to keep a state law on the books that allowed Drobot to pass on inflated expenses from spinal surgeries to workers' compensation insurers. The surgeries were performed on patients referred by doctors and chiropractors who were paid illegal kickbacks financed by the inflated billings, authorities allege.
Via: LA Times