A former lawmaker from California accused of taking thousands of dollars in bribes has pled guilty to one count of mail fraud, according to federal prosecutors.
One count of mail fraud!
Ronald Calderon, a Democrat who was indicted in February 2014 on two dozen counts of bribery, fraud, money laundering and other charges, will enter his guilty plea this week, a spokesman for U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles said.
According to the plea agreement, prosecutors have agreed not to ask for a sentence of more than 70 months, though the statutory maximum for the charge is 20 years.
And the corruption is a family affair.
His brother, former lawmaker Thomas Calderon pleaded guilty last week to a federal money laundering charge in connection with the case.
The Calderon brothers were members of a political dynasty going back several decades in California before they were ensnared in the federal investigation.
"Public officials who engage in corrupt behavior threaten the basic fabric of our democracy," U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker said in a written statement.
"The Calderons have acknowledged their roles in a bribery scheme in which money for them and their families alone was driving legislation that would have benefited only a few individuals," Decker said.
The indictment accused Calderon of taking bribes from a Long Beach hospital owner to "preserve a legislative loophole" that allowed the owner to cheat the state's healthcare system out of hundreds of millions of dollars.