Federal prosecutors announced corruption charges against members of the politically powerful Calderon family, Friday. Prosecutors allege two brothers from the Calderon family, including one state senator, laundered money and accepted bribes from a Newport Beach, Calif. businessman as part of a “massive” Medicare fraud scheme.

State Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, and his brother, Tom Calderon, are accused of laundering thousands of dollars in bribes from former hospital owner Michael Drobot to keep alive a law that enabled the scheme, prosecutors said at a news conference Friday.

Drobot's Pacific Hospital of Long Beach, Calif. specialized in spinal fusion surgeries and benefited from a loophole in state law that allowed him to overcharge insurance companies, said André Birotte Jr., the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California.

“Drobot bribed Ron Calerdon so that he would use his public office to preserve this law” that provide “rich profits” to his company, Birotte said.
Calderson is also accused of taking about $100,000 in bribes from undercover agents posing as film studio executives, in exchange for pushing for beneficial state tax credit changes.

A federal grand jury approved a 24-count indictment against Ron Calderon for mail fraud, wire fraud, honest services fraud, bribery, conspiracy to commit money laundering, money laundering and tax fraud, according to Birotte.
If convicted on all counts, the lawmaker could face up to 400 years in federal prison, Birotte said.