Former Calif. senator who accepted bribes from ex-hospital CEO gets prison time

Ron Calderon, a former California senator, was sentenced Friday to 42 months in prison for accepting $150,000 in bribes from a corrupt hospital executive and undercover FBI agents, according to the Department of Justice.

In June, Mr. Calderon admitted he accepted bribes from Michael Drobot, former owner and CEO of Pacific Hospital in Long Beach, Calif., which was a major provider of spinal surgeries. Mr. Drobot bribed the former senator so he would use his public office to preserve California's "spinal pass-through" law, which allowed a hospital to pass on to insurance companies the full cost it had paid for medical hardware used during spinal surgeries.

The pass-through law helped Mr. Drobot maintain a long-running healthcare fraud scheme. He is one of nine defendants who admitted participating in a massive fraud scheme that involved physicians receiving hundreds of millions of dollars in kickbacks.

Mr. Calderon also admitted accepting bribes from people he thought were associated with an independent film studio, but who were in fact undercover FBI agents, according to the DOJ.

In addition to his prison term, the judge ordered Mr. Calderon to serve 150 hours of community service.

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