Former state senator Leland Yee in plea agreement this summer admitted that he traded his political influence for bribes. Yee, among other things, admitted he agreed to influence legislation for would-be medical marijuana businesses in California, an NFL team owner trying to exempt pro athletes from the state’s workers’ compensation laws and a fictitious FBI concocted software firm seeking government technology contracts. He is scheduled to be sentenced on October 21.
Now six more defendants have entered guilty pleas in the case. George Nieh, Leslie Yun, Kevin Sui, Alan Chiu, Yat Wa Pau, and Andy Li all pleaded guilty to a broad range of charges alleged against them in a superseding indictment filed January 29, 2015. The indictment charged the defendants, Leland Yee, and 21 others with illegal conduct stemming from an alleged racketeering operation.
The guilty pleas bring to 10 the number of people who have pleaded guilty to one or more of the charges in the indictment. Unlike earlier pleas, these guilty pleas do not include an admission of guilt with respect to the charge that the defendants conspired to conduct the affairs of an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1962(d) (RICO conspiracy); yet, the each defendant pleaded guilty one or more of the crimes alleged as part of the RICO conspiracy.
The superseding indictment charged twenty-eight people in all. Eight of the defendants, including the six defendants who pleaded guilty, Raymond Chow, and Kongphet Chanthavong, are scheduled for trial on November 2, 2015, before U.S. District Judge Charles R. Breyer. The charges against the six defendants to which they have not pleaded guilty are still pending.