State Senator Pleads Guilty to Racketeering

Former California Sen. Leland Yee pled guilty to a charge of racketeering Wednesday in the far-reaching federal, political corruption, money laundering and arms sales case against 28 defendants.

Yee, a Democrat, faced 13 counts including a racketeering conspiracy with one-time gang leader Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow. Yee allegedly solicited campaign contributions in exchange for political favors, conspired to launder money was a party to what the government says was a never-completed international arms deal.

Yee appeared in federal court in San Francisco along with three other defendants who also entered guilty pleas as part of bargains with the government.

U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer set Oct. 21 for Yee’s sentencing. He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison, but will be subject to sentencing guidelines that take a number of factors into account.

Along with Yee was former San Francisco school board president and political consultant Keith Jackson, his son Brandon Jackson and sports agent Marlon Sullivan.

The men were scheduled for a joint trial August 10.  Hey were among 28 people charged in March 2014 in a sweeping indictment that included allegations of political corruption, trading money for political favors and attempts to arrange international weapons sales.

The government’s case included 230 counts.

In the latest version of the indictment, the government alleged that in Yee’s 2011 mayoral campaign in San Francisco and again during his 2014 run for California Secretary of State that he solicited campaign donations from undercover agents and informants in exchange for “official action” as a lawmaker, including help importing firearms.

The terms of the plea bargains were filed with the court but are not available to the public online.

Case: U.S. v. Chow, 14-cr-196

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