A federal judge Monday sentenced a former member of the California State Assembly who became a political consultant to a year in prison for making bribe payments to his brother after he plead guilty to money laundering, officials said.
U.S. District Judge Christina A. Snyder, who ordered that Thomas “Tom” M. Calderon serve the half in federal prison and half in home detention.
In addition, Judge Snyder ordered Tom Calderon to serve 100 hours of community service.
“Tom Calderon was all too aware of the bribe payments to his brother and that his brother had agreed to a quid pro quo with the undercover agents,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “Tom Calderon facilitated these bribe payments by helping to conceal his brother’s corrupt activities from the public.”
Tom Calderon, 62, 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, Ronald S. Calderon, who at the time was a California State Senator.
Ron Calderon plead guilty on June 21 and admitted accepting bribes from the undercover agents and a businessman in exchange for performing official acts as a legislator. Ron Calderon, 59, also of Montebello, is scheduled to be sentenced next week, although he has asked to continue his sentencing date.
When he pleaded guilty, Tom Calderon specifically admitted that in 2013 he deposited a $30,000 bribe payment from an undercover agent into the Calderon Group’s bank account and then wrote a $9,000 check to Ron Calderon’s daughter.
“Today’s sentencing sends a message to those interested in using access to public office in order to reap personal benefits that they will be held responsible for their actions,” said Deirdre Fike, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office. “Mr. Calderon used his family ties to benefit personally at the expense of the constituents represented by his brother’s office.”
Tom Calderon and his brother were both indicted by a federal grand jury in 2014.
Tom Calderon was charged with conspiring with his brother to commit money laundering and seven substantive counts of money laundering. The money laundering charge that Tom Calderon pleaded guilty to was count 22 in the indictment.
“IRS Criminal Investigation tirelessly untangled the web of illicit transactions that lead to Thomas Calderon being held accountable for his role in this scheme,” stated IRS Criminal Investigation’s Acting Special Agent in Charge, Anthony J. Orlando. “IRS CI remains committed to investigating those who engage in political corruption and tarnish our democratic system.”
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