Leland Yee Faces New Racketeering Charge

Former California State Senator Faces Racketeering Charge with Other Federal Charges

racketeering chargesAfter his arrest in March for numerous federal charges, former California state senator Leland Yee pleaded not guilty to charges of wire fraud, bribery, public corruption, and arms trafficking on April 8th. Now, federal investigators have added racketeering charges to the list of federal crimes.

The new racketeering charge was handed up to a federal grand jury on Friday, July 25th, and involves an incident in 2013 in which Yee, a Democratic representative from San Francisco, agreed to take $60,000, which he believed came from a National Football League team owner, in exchange for his and another senator’s vote dealing with workers compensation to football players in California.

Although the money never changed hands, the racketeering indictment alleges that Yee conspired to take the money, and accepted bribes on other occasions.

The new indictment replaces charges that prosecutors filed in March against the former state senator, and several other conspirators. Yee could face 20 years in prison, and a fine of up to $250,000, in addition to each of the previous federal charges.

Yee is charged with accepting bribes to help pay off his campaign debts, as well as to help fund his campaign for secretary of state, including accepting bags of money and checks from undercover operatives. He also allegedly orchestrated an international arms deal with an undercover agent to get high-powered weaponry from rebel groups in the Philippines.

The racketeering charge stems from a federal investigation that lasted 3 years. When Yee, campaign consultant Keith Jackson, and an undercover agent met again in June 2013, “Yee discussed his upcoming vote on AB1309 and represented that he controlled two votes on the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee and that his vote was critical,” the indictment says.

“Oh no … we gotta drag it out, man. We gotta juice this thing,” the indictment alleges that Yee said. “Yee and Jackson said they planned to talk to both the owners of, and the players on, another professional sports team.” The indictment also said that Jackson told the agent, in regards to the California workers comp bill, “that Yee was going ‘to be helpful’ to the owner … but wanted more money.”

Yee was part of the unanimous vote to pass AB1309, the workers comp bill specifically passed to regulate professional football players’ applications in the state.

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Racketeering and Other RICO Charges

RICO charges involve the operation of an illegal business or enterprise, including a fraudulent scams, for an individual or entity’s personal profit. RICO cases are complex criminal cases.  They involve serious criminal charges and life altering potential consequences. The federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and similar state racketeering laws give the government a tremendous amount of power to go after those accused of racketeering.

For experienced RICO and federal criminal charges defense attorneys who will fight for your rights and work to have your charges reduced or even dismissed, contact the attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, today. We offer free, confidential consultations so that you can discuss the facts of your case with impunity, in a safe environment. Do not hesitate to contact us. 803.252.4800.

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