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California state senator, brother indicted in corruption probe

Source: Reuters - Fri, 21 Feb 2014 19:54 GMT
Author: Reuters
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(Updates with confirmation of indictment)

By Dan Whitcomb

LOS ANGELES, Feb 21 (Reuters) - A California state senator who has been the subject of an investigation into political corruption accusations has been indicted on federal charges, prosecutors said on Friday.

Democrat Ron Calderon and his brother, Tom, have both been indicted in the case, said Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles.

Mrozek did not give further details of the indictments ahead of a noon (2000 GMT) news conference, but a law enforcement source said the charges stemmed in part from accusations that Calderon accepted bribes from a healthcare executive.

Phone calls made to Calderon's offices in Sacramento and Southern California on Friday were not answered.

Federal prosecutors, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies said in a statement that at Friday's news conference charges would be announced in what they described as a "political corruption matter and case involving a massive healthcare fraud scheme." They did not specify who would be charged.

In June, FBI agents searched Calderon's offices as part of an investigation into what the agency described only as "allegations of criminal activity."

An FBI affidavit obtained by Al Jazeera America showed that the agency was investigating accusations that Calderon accepted some $88,000 in bribes from an undercover agent and hospital executive.

In November, Calderon was removed from the executive board of the California Latino Caucus and from his legislative committee assignments during the investigation. (Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; editing by Cynthia Johnston, G Crosse and Mohammad Zargham)

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