Feds to announce charges in California political corruption case - source

LOS ANGELES Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:21pm EST

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LOS ANGELES Feb 21 (Reuters) - Federal prosecutors will announce charges on Friday in a political corruption investigation involving a California state senator accused of taking bribes, a law enforcement source told Reuters.

The charges center on accusations that Democratic state Senator Ron Calderon accepted bribes from a healthcare executive, who is also under investigation in the case, said the source, who asked not to be identified ahead of a formal announcement.

Representatives for Calderon could not immediately be reached for comment early on Friday, nor could a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Federal prosecutors, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies did say in a statement that they would hold a news conference later on Friday to announce charges in what they described only as a "political corruption matter and case involving a massive healthcare fraud scheme."

They did not specify who would be charged.

The Sacramento Bee and Los Angeles Times also reported that federal authorities would announce charges on Friday in connection with the investigation into Calderon, both citing unnamed sources.

In June, FBI agents searched Calderon's offices as part of an investigation into what it described only as "allegations of criminal activity."

An FBI affidavit obtained by Al Jazeera America showed that the agency was investigating accusations that Calderon accepted some $88,000 in bribes from an undercover agent and hospital executive.

In November, Calderon was removed from the executive board of the California Latino Caucus and from his legislative committee assignments during the investigation. (Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; editing by Cynthia Johnston and G Crosse)

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