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Friday, July 25, 2014

Leland Yee Hit With Racketeering Charges

Posted By on Fri, Jul 25, 2014 at 3:09 PM

click to enlarge Sen. Leland Yee, getting lots of attention -- of a better sort. - JIM HERD
  • Jim Herd
  • Sen. Leland Yee, getting lots of attention -- of a better sort.
How do things get worse for disgraced state Sen. Leland Yee, who was already accused of corruption, money-laundering, and attempting to pull together a bizarre, international arms deal sending shoulder-fired rockets to Filipino jihadis?

Here's how: Yee is now an alleged racketeer. 

A grand jury today indicted the Sunset District politico — along with his erstwhile bagman, Keith Jackson, and Chinatown gangster Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow — on a host of new charges. Tacked onto the eight felonies Yee was already facing are one count of “conspiracy to conduct the affairs of an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity,” and two counts of conspiracy “to obtain property under the color of official right."

That could tack 20 more years onto the already serious time Yee is facing. 

Yee et al. were the targets of an elaborate, five-year federal probe involving millions of dollars of federal money being laundered by oblivious accused criminals and the state senator, via wiretaps and recorded conversations, purportedly influence-peddling, shaking down donors, and setting up arms deals with agents posing as mafiosis. 

Intriguingly, today's indictment includes an accusation that Yee offered to help an unidentified National Football League team owner to push through legislation making it more difficult for out-of-state athletes to collect workers' comp in California. 

Yee and Jackson — a political consultant who, decades ago, served alongside Yee on the school board — are accused of  “Extorting individuals and professional sports teams related to the passage of legislation governing the ability of professional athletes to collect workers compensation for injuries in California.” 

An undercover agent posing as a go-between for Yee and the team owner purportedly asked the senator how much his vote could be obtained for. The answer: “Oh no, we gotta drag it out. We gotta juice this thing."

While the indictment makes reference to a team owner, it does not detail whether that unnamed owner was in any way involved in the probe or alleged bribery. Yee was purportedly offered $60,000 — but, after voting in the manner that would have earned him this payday, he was not given a campaign contribution. 

Continuing the athletic theme, Yee and Jackson are accused of "extorting individuals related to the California State Athletic Commission and the Mixed Martial Arts industry regarding retaining the existence of CSAC and its ability to regulate certain sports in California.”

The jihadis do make an appearance, however. Yee et al. are accused of conspiracy to traffic in “missile systems designed to destroy aircraft.”

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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