Worst Legislator in California, Part ...

Worst Legislator in California, Part II: Charles Calderon Lets...

There are 488 comments on the LA Weekly story from Jun 1, 2011, titled Worst Legislator in California, Part II: Charles Calderon Lets.... In it, LA Weekly reports that:

State Sen. Ron Calderon and his brother Assembly Majority Leader Charles Calderon, carry on a family tradition every Thanksgiving.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at LA Weekly.

Trash talk

Rosemead, CA

#500 Mar 26, 2014
BREAKING: California State Senator Leland Yee Taken Into Custody By FBI Agents

" part of a wide ranging criminal probe into a massive corruption investigation that has already led to the arrest of two other Democratic State Senators."


It appears that agents with the FBI have detained California State Sen. Leland Yee early Wednesday morning as part of a wide ranging criminal probe into a massive corruption investigation that has already led to the arrest of two other Democratic State Senators.

This morning several Bay Area news stations reported that the popular San Francisco Democrat has been arrested on suspicion of corruption.

FBI spokeswoman Gina Swankie would not comment on the matter, but a press conference is forthcoming.

Swankie also told reporters this morning that “the FBI is executing multiple search warrants and conducting arrests in multiple locations today.”

“At this time we are not elaborating due to the need for agent safety,” Swankie said.

Trash talk

Rosemead, CA

#501 Mar 26, 2014
trash talk

Rosemead, CA

#502 Mar 27, 2014
Scandals plague Democrats in California capital
By Juliet Williams, Associated Press


SACRAMENTO — So far in 2014, each month has brought news of another arrest or conviction of a Democratic California state senator. The separate investigations culminated Wednesday in the arrest of Sen. Leland Yee of San Francisco on federal corruption charges that roiled the capital, leading one of Yee’s opponents in the race for secretary of state to call the Legislature a “corrupt institution.”

Democrats hold large majorities in both chambers of the Legislature and should be flying into election season this year, easily passing legislation and setting the agenda after taming California’s busted budgets and turning their Republican rivals into a “superminority” in the nation’s most populous state.

But now their dominance could be dampened by new revelations of dirty dealings by Democrats in the state Senate.
One senator was convicted of voter fraud and perjury, and two others face federal charges for alleged misdeeds that include accepting large financial bribes for friends and family in exchange for legislation and orchestrating weapons and drug trafficking to help pay off campaign debts.

“I know what people are thinking. This is the third incident the Senate has had to deal with,” an emotional Steinberg said.
“We are going to do everything in our power to uphold the integrity of the Senate and do the people’s business and still have a great and productive year.”

Sen. Joel Anderson, a Republican from Alpine who has led the expulsion efforts, blamed Democratic leaders for creating a culture of tolerance for illegal activity.

“If you refuse to act and you shirk your responsibility to act, is it a surprise that senators don’t take ethics as seriously as they should?” Anderson said.

Derek Cressman, a Democrat and former director of the good government group Common Cause who seeks strict limits on contributions and more disclosure about donors, said Wednesday’s arrest is clearly part of a broader pattern in the capital.

He called the Legislature corrupt.

“The constant begging for campaign cash clearly has a corrosive effect on a person’s soul, and the only solution is to get big money out of our politics once and for all,” he said, adding that the bar for public office “should be higher than the bar for staying out of prison.”

Steinberg and Perez are also Pay to Play- just ask City of Industry, Majestic Reality
trash talk

Rosemead, CA

#503 Apr 1, 2014
I was gone over the weekend as usual abut here are recent stories and editorials


With Wright and Calderon first on leave and now suspended while their cases play out, Democrats failed to push through several measures, including a key bill aiming to force revelations of “dark money” contributors to political campaigns.



Friday’s 28-1 vote in the 40-member chamber came amid one of the most severe ethical crises in modern times for the Legislature in the nation’s most populous state. Later in the day, Gov. Jerry Brown also called on the three lawmakers to resign.

The Senate leadership said that before Friday, the chamber had never suspended a lawmaker in the institution’s 164-year history, but it has taken the more serious step of expelling lawmakers, the last time in 1905. The Assembly speaker’s office said that chamber has never suspended or expelled a lawmaker.

The resolution prevents Democratic Sens. Ron Calderon and Leland Yee, who face federal corruption charges, and Democratic Sen. Rod Wright, who is awaiting sentencing in a voter fraud case, from exercising any power of their office until the criminal cases against them have been resolved. Even so, they will continue receiving their $95,291 annual salaries.

“Given the extraordinary circumstances of these cases — and today’s unprecedented suspensions — the best way to restore public confidence is for these Senators to resign,” Brown said.

Steinberg noted that the Senate already has “intensive” ethics training for its lawmakers and staff.

“But there are some things, members, that you just can’t teach,” he said.“I know of no ethics class that teaches about the illegality or the danger of gun-running or other such sordid activities.”

Steinberg also announced an unprecedented step of cancelling a Senate floor session in April for a mandatory ethics review, saying it is time for the Senate to “take a deeper look at our culture.”

Senate officials will go office-by-office to emphasize ethical conduct and to ask staffers to come forward if they are aware of any unethical or potentially criminal activity by lawmakers or Senate staffers.

Steinberg noted that the Senate already has “intensive” ethics training for its lawmakers and staff.

“But there are some things, members, that you just can’t teach,” he said.“I know of no ethics class that teaches about the illegality or the danger of gun-running or other such sordid activities.”

Steinberg also announced an unprecedented step of cancelling a Senate floor session in April for a mandatory ethics review, saying it is time for the Senate to “take a deeper look at our culture.”

Senate officials will go office-by-office to emphasize ethical conduct and to ask staffers to come forward if they are aware of any unethical or potentially criminal activity by lawmakers or Senate staffers.

Senate Minority Leader Bob Huff, R-Diamond Bar, said he supports a proposed constitutional amendment, introduced by Steinberg on Friday, which would allow the Legislature to withhold members’ pay if they are suspended.
trash talk

Rosemead, CA

#504 Apr 1, 2014
Expel the rotten senators from the state Legislature: Letters

The recent acts committed by Sens. Rod Wright, D-Inglewood, Ron Calderon, D-Montebello and Leland Yee, D-San Francisco have brought the California Senate into grave disrepute.
The case of Senator Yee is particularly despicable: Engaging in activity worthy of a gang member. However, the Senate, by a 28-1 vote, has voted to only suspend the three, with pay. I cannot imagine a greater insult to the citizens of California in allowing this slap on the wrist. If these three are not willing to do the right thing and resign, then they should be expelled by the Senate, and not just merely suspended. And they should be made to forfeit all benefits which they originally were entitled to prior to their actions.

If the Senate is unwilling to take appropriate action, hopefully the voters will do so in November.

— Christopher Flores, Avocado Heights
trash talk

Rosemead, CA

#505 Apr 1, 2014

On the senate floor this morning, state Senate President Darrell Steinberg said he wished the disgraced senators would resign and spare the legislature "the stigma associated with their alleged actions."

"Leave please," he said. "We've made that request and apparently they will not."

Steinberg said under the resolution Yee and the others "cannot serve another day in this senate going forward unless they are exonerated."

Steinberg said Yee's arrest had changed his mind about allowing Calderon and Wright to take leaves of absence.

"After Wednesday's events I recognize that is no longer sufficient," he said.

However, he argued that expulsion, a more extreme option, would "run afoul of the basic American principles of due process and the presumption that people are considered innocent until proven guilty."

Steinberg said the actions of the three senators bring forth questions on "senate culture" and he called for an ethics review to be held in each office on April 7.

"We must do more here in the Senate,"
and he called for each office to "take stock."

Senate Republic Leader Bob Huff, R-Diamond Bar,
issued a statement supporting the suspensions,
saying they were necessary to restore the public trust in the senate.

"I have been asked if this behavior is systemic to the institution-that it goes with the territory-but I don't believe it does," Huff said.
"While it is very troublesome that we have three separate senators in one year convicted or charged with various felonies, most of us are honest, hard-working citizens truly honored to represent our districts."
trash talk

Rosemead, CA

#506 Apr 1, 2014

California senator suggests an ethics ombudsman

Last month, state Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, was indicted on corruption charges. And in January, a Los Angeles County jury convicted state Sen. Rod Wright, D-Baldwin Hills, of lying about his residence when he ran for the Senate in 2008.

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg announced Friday that the Senate will cancel one day of floor session and committee hearings and instead have an intensive, mandatory office-by-office review of Senate ethics policies.

Roth said his idea would build on that, and reflects concerns that some people with knowledge of wrongdoing may be intimidated by the existing process of voicing concerns.
Under Senate rules, people can make allegations of suspected violations of Senate standards of conduct.
But the complaints must be in writing and be signed under penalty of perjury.

"It's not as open a process, as free a process, as I would like to see," Roth said
. "We need to create a different system, where staff or other individuals, and legislators, are free to contact someone like an ombudsman."

Roth, elected in 2012, said his office is just starting to survey ethics procedures in other states. His goal, he said, is to make sure "we have the best ethics program in the nation, period."

Read more here: http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/20...
trash talk

Rosemead, CA

#508 Apr 2, 2014
Montebello has its own Workman's comp fraud skeleton still in the closet.


Sen. Ron Calderon and former Assemblyman Tom Calderon are accused of taking bribes to perpetuate an audacious,$500 million health care and workers’ compensation fraud, setting up high courtroom drama reminiscent of ABSCAM in the 1970s and ’80s, or ShrimpGate in the 1990s.

More importantly, the case against a state senator and his brother from Montebello shines a spotlight on the high human and financial cost of workers’ compensation fraud and reminds policymakers they must remain vigilant in thwarting these kinds of crimes.

The case could turn into the biggest insurance scam in California’s history. As has been widely reported, Pacific Hospital in Long Beach overbilled for roughly $500 million for spinal surgeries – often unnecessary or even hazardous to patients – and passed the costs on to 150 insurance providers.

Ron Calderon is charged with taking about $100,000 in bribes from Michael Drobot, the former owner of Pacific Hospital, to keep a loophole in place that allowed the fraud to continue. The indictment alleges that both Calderons, who have pleaded not guilty, engaged in conspiracy, money laundering and other crimes.

Drobot has pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with investigators.

Doctor, hospital or Medi-Cal provider fraud such as this is a sophisticated and calculated crime. In this case, Drobot paid millions of dollars to doctors to refer patients for expensive back treatments primarily to one hospital – Pacific Hospital of Long Beach.

A loophole in the law allowed the hospital’s owner, Drobot, to act as the manufacturer of the durable medical equipment used in the procedures. In this cozy arrangement, he was able to bill insurers $40,000 for durable medical equipment that cost him only $4,000.

By pleading guilty, Drobot admitted bribing and engaging in other forms of corruption with the Calderons to make sure the loophole remained in the law.

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated case. A recent Aite Group study released in 2013 reported that workers’ compensation fraud totals $8 billion nationally. Fraud in all property casualty insurance lines totals $64 billion.

In addition to harming workers, this scheme hurts consumers and insurers, who ultimately absorb the costs of these schemes in the form of higher premiums and inflated prices for consumer goods and services.

All this drags down economic growth. California’s economy, still recovering from the Great Recession and massive government debt, and hampered by drought, can ill afford this. Companies saddled with high insurance costs will have trouble creating the jobs California needs.

Detecting and stopping this kind of crime is difficult and requires adequate resources.
Following the exposure in the 1990s of so-called doctor mills that coached workers on how to fake an injury to generate tests and treatment, a tough anti-fraud system became law.
Under the law, the California Department of Insurance provides grants to local district attorneys to investigate and prosecute insurance fraud.

The grants for 2013-14 total $61.1 million, about 52 percent of which is for investigating and prosecuting workers’ comp cases.

The California Department of Insurance’s fraud unit, the Enforcement Branch, has 300 enforcement staff, including sworn officers, investigators and administrative staff.

In this case, the partnerships between insurers, and state and local agencies worked. When most of the state’s workers’ compensation carriers reported unusually high billing, public officials detected a pattern and isolated the source.

trash talk

Rosemead, CA

#510 Apr 4, 2014

SACRAMENTO -- California's ethics and tax agencies now have more power to conduct campaign finance investigations under a law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday.

The law gives the Fair Political Practices Commission and the Franchise Tax Board the ability to begin audits, before an election occurs, of campaigns suspected of illegal activities, even if campaign statements or finance reports have not yet been filed.

It also explicitly allows the commission to seek an injunction in Superior Court to compel disclosure.

trash talk

Rosemead, CA

#511 Apr 4, 2014
LosCerritos News Letters
Re: Calderon Money
Dear Editor:
I am very disappointed that the
Calderon “money shuffle” is continuing
with the most recent transfer of campaign
funds from Ian Calderon to his father’s
campaign for Judge.
The Calderons long- ago mastered the art of raising money for
one family member in order to “shuffle “
it to another who couldn’t raise it on his own.

This most recent “loan “ of $10,000
from Ian Calderon to his father Charles
clearly indicates that the Calderons have
learned nothing from the actions that
have brought indictments to two of their
family members.

Or they simply think
they are above the law. In either case this
is just one more reason why we need to
rid the Legislature of all the Calderons
once and for all.

As the last member of the shamed
political dynasty, one would think that
Ian Calderon would behave with an
abundance of caution in his campaign
financial dealings.

Apparently the family
business is more important than respect
for the public’s business.

The voters of the 57th Assembly
District should bring this embarrassing
chapter to an end in November by removing
the last of the Calderons from the
California Legislature.

Rita Topalian,
Candidate 57th Assembly
trash talk

Rosemead, CA

#512 Apr 4, 2014
Dear Editor:
Money goes around and around and
around. I disagree that Ian’s donors were
not aware he would be donating to his
Of course the donors knew, who
do you think told them to write the check
in the first place..Daddy Chuck!

The money-go-round is just doing
business with the Calderons. What is
really amazing is that dumb voters will
probably elect Chuck as Judge not even
realizing that his two brothers are going
to jail.
The only answer is ZERO voter
turnout, the only way an honest person
can get elected!

Carl Elliot
trash talk

Rosemead, CA

#513 Apr 4, 2014
Dear Editor:
It is amazing that Roybal and Vasquez
campaigned against this very corruption
when they ran for Central Basin, then
they got in and started collecting their
donations from these very same people…
Doug Wance, HDR, Pacifica, Tom Calderon
and so on.

That is why this report is watered
down. Tony Perez has his hands tied.

The majority rule of Apodaca, Roybal and
Vasquez won’t let any report generated
by Perez’ management team to hurt their
new pals (made after they were elected of
Luis Alvarado
Knight Owl

Rosemead, CA

#514 Apr 8, 2014


SACRAMENTO (AP)— The California Senate has erased the names and online archives of three suspended lawmakers entangled in criminal cases.

The Senate removed pictures, video clips and legislative archives over the weekend involving Democratic Sens. Rod Wright of Los Angeles, Ron Calderon of Montebello and Leland Yee of San Francisco.

All that remains on the websites is information about their Senate districts.

The three men have lost the rights and privileges of a senator, which include having a Senate-maintained website, said Mark Hedlund, a spokesman for Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg.

So how are we supposed to contribute to their unlimited "defense" funds?
trash talk

Rosemead, CA

#515 Apr 9, 2014

LOS ANGELES -- Grand jury testimony and other potential evidence against indicted California state Sen. Ronald Calderon should not be handed over to his attorney at this time, a federal judge said Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder said at a brief hearing in Los Angeles that prosecutors were correct to seek protections for potential evidence obtained through a grand jury and certain FBI records that could be used in a political corruption case against Calderon.

He has been suspended from the California Senate as the case proceeds.

Calderon will be entitled to the potential evidence before trial,
and Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas Miller had sought to hand over some of the files to Calderon's legal team early in the case.

Calderon's lawyer Mark Geragos,
objected to a protective order for the information that sought to keep details confidential.
Geragos told the judge he intends to bring a motion against prosecutors for outrageous conduct after an FBI affidavit detailing allegations against his client was leaked to Al-Jazeera America last year.

Miller has denied prosecutors leaked the document.

Calderon attended Tuesday's hearing but didn't speak.

Evidence in the case spans more than 100,000 pages of records and phone recordings, according to a filing by prosecutors.

The 24-count federal indictment against Calderon, a Democrat from a politically prominent family in Los Angeles' blue-collar suburbs,
depicts a rogue legislator eager to trade his clout at the state Capitol to enrich himself and his family.

His brother Tom Calderon, a former state lawmaker-turned-lobbyist, was charged with money-laundering in the case with prosecutors saying he funneled bribes through a tax-exempt group he controlled.
Truth Squad

Rosemead, CA

#516 Apr 12, 2014
FBI Outlines Criminal Case Against Pacific Hospital’s Drobot,
Senator Calderon,
Former Assemblyman Tom Calderon


By Randy Economy

SANTA ANA, CA—Members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation as well as the United States Attorney’s Office have released specific details regarding the indictment of Michael Drobot who is the former owner of Pacific Hospital in Long Beach.

Drobot was charged on Friday in a long-running health care fraud scheme that involved tens of millions of dollars in illegal kickbacks in exchange for referrals of thousands of patients who received spinal surgeries.

The case is directly tied to the indictments of current California State Senator Ronald Calderon and his brother former Assemblyman Thomas Calderon that were also revealed during a press conference in Los Angeles.

Federal officials are claiming that patient referrals to the Long Beach based hospital led to more than $500 million in bills being fraudulently submitted during last five years of the scheme, much of which was paid by the California worker’s compensation system.

Drobot, 69, who is a resident of tony Corona Del Mar in Orange County, was charged with orchestrating a wide-ranging conspiracy and with paying illegal kickbacks.

In a plea agreement also filed this morning, Drobot agreed to plead guilty to the two counts, which could send him to federal prison for as long as 10 years.

The FBI said that from 1997 to 2013, Drobot, who owned Pacific Hospital until late last year, ran a scheme in which he billed workers’ compensation insurers hundreds of millions of dollars for spinal surgeries performed on patients who had been referred by dozens of doctors, chiropractors, and others who were paid illegal kickbacks.

“For referrals for spinal surgeries, Drobot typically paid a kickback of $15,000 per lumbar fusion surgery and $10,000 per cervical fusion surgery. Some of the patients lived as much as hundreds of miles away from Pacific Hospital and closer to other qualified medical facilities. The patients were not informed that the medical professionals had been offered kickbacks to induce them to refer the surgeries to Pacific Hospital,” authorities told members of the media in a statement.

It is being charged that Drobot and his co-conspirators “concealed the kickback payments by entering into bogus contracts with the doctors, chiropractors, and others who received kickbacks. In reality, the contracts merely provided a cover story for the kickback payments.”

“The kickbacks were financed largely by money generated from inflated prices for medical devices implanted into state workers’ comp patients during spinal surgeries. Drobot set up a scheme that exploited a now-repealed California law known as the spinal “pass-through” legislation, which permitted hospitals to pass on to workers’ comp insurers the full cost of medical devices implanted in spinal surgery patients. Specifically, Drobot used shell companies to inflate the costs of those devices and then billed the insurers at the inflated rates,” FBI officials told media members.

“The spinal pass-through, the provision of California law that allowed Pacific Hospital to fraudulently inflate the cost of the medical hardware used during spinal surgeries, was a vital component of defendant Drobot’s ability to pay kickbacks to the doctors, chiropractors, marketers, and others who had referred patients to Pacific Hospital for surgeries and other medical services,” according to the charging document filed today.
Truth Squad

Rosemead, CA

#517 Apr 12, 2014
As part of the health care fraud scheme, Drobot admitted in his plea agreement that he paid bribes to California State Senator Ronald Calderon in exchange for Calderon performing official acts to keep the spinal pass-through law on the books.

Calderon was indicted on federal charges yesterday for allegedly accepting bribes from Drobot, as well as undercover FBI agents seeking official acts in relation to other matters.

As part of his plea agreement, Drobot has agreed to cooperate in the government’s ongoing investigation of the health care fraud scheme, which has been dubbed Operation Spinal Cap.
Drobot has also agreed to cooperate in the government’s prosecution of Ronald Calderon and his brother former Assemblyman Tom Calderon, who was also indicted

“Drobot has agreed to plead guilty in the health care fraud scheme, and as part of this agreement, he admits paying bribes to Ron Calderon in exchange for the senator’s help in keeping alive a law that brought massive profits to Drobot’s companies,” said United States Attorney André Birotte, Jr.
“Drobot also paid kickbacks, which are illegal under both California and federal law because they corrupt the doctor-patient relationship and may encourage medical professionals to recommend procedures that are not necessary,
not in the patients’ best interest,
or actually harmful to the patient.”

“The charges allege that the defendant used kickbacks and other tactics to ensure the system worked to his advantage,” said Bill Lewis, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office.
“The insurance scheme victimized multiple sectors of society, including insurance companies, the taxpayers, and spinal patients.”

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said,“Insurance fraud is a multi-billion dollar drain on California’s economy, which results in higher insurance premiums for California businesses and consumers.

The co-conspirators lined their pockets by ripping off insurance companies to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.

This is one of the largest workers’ compensation fraud cases in the history of the Department of Insurance—our successful investigation of this complex criminal scheme underscores our commitment to bring law breakers to justice regardless of who they are.”

Tom Frost, Special Agent in Charge with the Postal Service Office of Inspector General, stated,“We are committed to preserving U.S. Postal Service resources by vigorously investigating allegations of fraud and corruption. We are grateful for the efforts of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our state and federal partners in this investigation.”

The ongoing investigation into abuses involving the spinal pass-through law and kickbacks paid for spinal surgery patients is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; IRS-Criminal Investigation; the California Department of Insurance; and the United States Postal Service, Office of Inspector General.
Trash talk

Rosemead, CA

#519 Apr 18, 2014

Then there’s the behavior of the Senate’s top officer,
President Pro-Tem Darrell Steinberg, a Sacramento Democrat who has vocalized in favor of action to regain the public trust in his tainted house of the Legislature.
But what he’s actually done so far is order his staff to delete the bulk of the official websites of the three troubled senators, wiping the Internet clean of their press releases, some records of their votes and the list of bills they’ve authored.

And there’s Steinberg’s designated successor, Los Angeles Democrat Kevin de Leon, due to assume the Senate’s top slot when Steinberg is termed out later this year.

de Leon is mentioned 47 times in the 124-page FBI affidavit in the case against suspended Sen. Ron Calderon of Montebello.

De Leon reportedly also brokered a sequence seeing Calderon pull out of a run for chairman of the Legislature’s Latino Caucus, while $25,000 went from a caucus-aligned committee to a consulting firm owned by Calderon’s brother, Tom, himself a former state senator.

In short, the Senate — specifically its big Democratic majority — wants the public’s trust but kills public information and doesn’t let questions about de Leon derail his progress toward its leadership. Not the usual way to earn trust.
Trash talk

Rosemead, CA

#520 Apr 18, 2014
reality Check

Rosemead, CA

#521 Apr 19, 2014
(Alert readers may remember that Sen. Ron Calderon, now indicted on corruption and money laundering charges, and his brother, former Assemblyman Charles Calderon have a history of using campaign accounts to pay for their Christmas gifts to each other.)

Read more here: http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/#s...

No campaign cash for fighting criminal charges, says Jerry Hill

Politicians facing criminal charges would not be allowed to use campaign funds to pay their legal bills under an amendment Sen. Jerry Hill said he plans to introduce in the wake of the indictment of his colleague Sen. Leland Yee on charges of corruption and conspiracy to traffic weapons.

Under current law, politicians have wide latitude on how they spend campaign funds. Expenses have to have a legislative, governmental or political purpose, but can be used for everything from hiring campaign consultants and TV ads, to travel and paying legal bills.

Read more here: http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/#s...
trash talk

Rosemead, CA

#522 Apr 25, 2014
Former Pacific Hospital owner Michael Drobot pleads guilty in fraud case


The Drobot case is related to the corruption cases that have been filed against state Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, and his brother, former Assemblyman Tom Calderon.

Drobot has told federal officials that he bribed Ron Calderon in order to keep on the books the law that made it possible to seek inflated reimbursements for spinal hardware.

Calderon, whom the FBI has also accused of taking bribes from agents posing as filmmakers seeking a more favorable tax credit law,
has pleaded not guilty to all charges filed against him.

Tom Calderon has also pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy and money laundering for allegedly helping his brother commit crimes.

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