Controversial former California assemblywoman Gwen Moore has been named a defendant in an action recently filed in federal court, TLR has learned.
Also named as defendants, amongst many, are Douglas Winthrop, managing partner of embattled Howard Rice Nemerovski Canady Falk & Rabkin; former Sacramento lobbyist Jeannine English; State Bar of California Deputy Executive Director Robert Hawley; and Judy Johnson, president of the California Consumer Protection Foundation ("CCPF").
From left, Gwen Moore of GeM Communication (who, according to confidential sources, was known in Sacramento as a "Shakedown Artist"), Howard Rice's Douglas Winthrop, and CCPF's Judy Johnson.
Moore, not a stranger to The Leslie Brodie Report, was "the author of special-interest bills to benefit phony companies set up by the FBI in the sting. They passed but were vetoed. Moore received $10,500 in campaign contributions from the businessmen, including $3,500 funneled through a lobbying firm and a $5,000 contribution, which she promptly returned," according to the Los Angeles Times.
The sting operation in question was conducted by the FBI's Bribery and Special Interest unit, which was investigating corruption in the California State Legislature. The operation was also known as "Shrimpscam” because FBI agents posed as representatives of a West Sacramento-based shrimp processing company who gave campaign contributions to lawmakers in exchange for favorable legislation. A couple of the bills were actually passed by both the Assembly and Senate, but were ultimately vetoed by the Governor, who was tipped off in advance. (Source: Wikipedia.)
The operation sent Board of Equalization member Paul Carpenter to prison. Three other members of the state legislature also spent time in jail: Pat Nolan, minority leader at the time of the raid; State Senator Joseph Montoya; and Assembly Member Frank Hill. (Source: Wikipedia.)
According to media reports, the "scandal has shaken the political world in Sacramento and ignited new criticism of the way California's "third house" - lobbyists - routinely doles out millions to open-handed legislators. The FBI scheme came to light after 30 FBI agents, armed with seven search warrants and accompanied by David Levi, the U.S. attorney for eastern California, descended on the Capitol. The agents went through the offices of four Southern California lawmakers: Assemblyman Patrick Nolan of Glendale, the leader of the house's Republicans; Assemblyman Frank Hill, a Republican from Whittier and a former aide to former U.S. Sen. S.I. Hayakawa; Assemblywoman Gwen Moore, a Los Angeles Democrat who was the sponsor of the FBI's bogus legislation, and state Sen. Joseph Montoya, an El Monte Democrat who is chairman of the Senate Business and Professions Committee."
In a nine-count indictment, a federal grand jury charged Tyrone Netters, Moore's former aide, with extortion, conspiracy, racketeering, money laundering and income tax evasion. Netters was later convicted of one count of violating RICO, three counts of extortion in violation of the Hobbs Act, four counts of money laundering, and one count of subscribing to a false tax return.
More specifically, the conviction included charges of conducting an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering in violation of 18 U.S.C. section 1962(c); (2) conspiracy to affect commerce by extortion under color of official right in violation of 18 U.S.C. section 1951; (3) extortion under color of official right and aiding and abetting in violation of 18 U.S.C. sections 1951 and 2; and (4) extortion under color of official right in violation of 18 U.S.C. section 1951.
TLR is closely monitoring the situation and will keep readers apprised of any developments in this civil action, entitled Baldwin v. State Bar of California.