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Former Assemblyman Tom Calderon Sentenced To One Year In Jail For Money Laundering

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Former state assemblyman Tom Calderon was sentenced Monday to a year and a day in federal prison for laundering $30,000 in bribes, reports the Pasadena Star News.

Back in June, Calderon pleaded guilty to concealing bride money for his brother, Ron, a former state senator from Montebello. Ron had taken the money from an undercover agent who was posing as a film producer. In exchange for the money, Ron had agreed to back a tax break for producers of small-budget films. Tom helped funnel the money through a political consulting firm called the Calderon Group; he'd admitted to this as part of his plea deal. He also revealed that he'd written a $9,000 check to Ron's daughter using this account.

As noted at the Pasadena Star-News, Calderon will serve five months of his prison sentence at home with electronic monitoring. Calderon's lawyers had argued to take prison time off the table entirely. They claimed that the 62-year-old was suffering from a number of ailments. He had a heart attack in February, and suffers from diabetes and hypertension, reports the Sacramento Bee. Lawyers also noted that, at the times of the crime, his wife of 29 years had died of colon cancer.

"I relied on her judgement, and trusted her. Had she been alive I would have never come anywhere near to taking the actions that I did," Calderon had written in a statement.

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The U.S. District Attorney had recommended one year in prison, one year of supervised release, as well as a $18,000 fine. As noted by the Whittier Daily News, Tom had made nearly $1 million between 2013 and 2015.

Ron plead guilty to a charge of mail fraud and will be sentenced next Monday.

The Calderons (which include brother Charles) once comprised a rising dynasty that emerged from the San Gabriel Valley. The started with the small-time politics of Montebello and climbed their way up to Sacramento. They were seen as a shining example grassroots politics extending its influence to a broader scope. But, as asserted by prosecutors in court documents, Tom and Ron now represent a political era "where waves of dark money infect politics and flood the worlds of many politicians."

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