Leland Yee Pleads Not Guilty to Racketeering Charges

Former California Senator Pleads Not Guilty to Racketeering Charges

racketeering chargesFormer California state senator Leland Yee, arrested on charges of bribery and gun running, faced new federal charges for racketeering and other RICO violations on Friday, July 25th. On Thursday, July 31st, he pleaded not guilty to racketeering charges.

Yee previously pleaded not guilty to the other federal charges, including bribery, corruption, and arms trafficking, in which federal investigators worked undercover, posing as businessmen and gun runners. He allegedly accepted bribes from fake businessmen in order to set up fraudulent business licenses, give state contracts to fake businesses, and influence medical marijuana legislation, as well.

The bribes allegedly went to pay off debts incurred by Yee’s failed mayoral run.

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 [workers comp law] and represented that he controlled two votes on the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee and that his vote was critical,” the indictment says. Yee allegedly 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.

“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.”

The new indictment replaces charges that prosecutors filed in March against the former state senator, and several other conspirators. Yee is one of three democratic California state senators who were suspended in March for ethics violations related to the corruption charges. He was released in April after paying $500,000 bail. If convicted on the racketeering charges, Yee faces up to 20 years in prison.

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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