By Zach Arnold | August 17, 2014
Jeff Thaler had a chance recently to interview Tim Kennedy for Fight Opinion Radio. And it was great. You can listen to our interview right here or by copying this text for the URL:
With a fight against Yoel Romero on September 27th in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Tim feels that one more win will give him a title shot… at either Middleweight against Chris Weidman or at Welterweight against Johny Hendricks. He believes he can make 170 pounds.
As for his fight strategy against Yoel Romero?
“Don’t get taken down? I don’t know. I would be surprised if he tries to take me down. How many times have you seen somebody take me down? If they do try, I think every dude that’s ever tried has lost.”
“I do not think that he will be able to be successfully take me down and keep me down.”
Tim revealed during our interview that he asked the Nevada State Athletic Commission for random drug testing. He’s not holding his breath when it comes to the issue of an increase in random drug testing in MMA.
By Zach Arnold | August 14, 2014
On Tuesday’s edition of Mike & Mike on ESPN Radio, host Mike Greenberg presented a list of five sports which he thinks could bring the most Return On Investment if they were a stock. One of the sports on that list is Mixed Martial Arts.
One of the sports not on his list? Major League Baseball.
Greenberg dished out a list of four suggestions things he would do as MLB Commissioner to help improve interest in baseball. One of those suggestions sounds like advice you would have heard from MMA promoters a few years ago on the issue of doping.
“Make LESS, not more of a big deal about PEDs.
“Baseball has the toughest testing program in all of sports. Stand on that. Stand on that and stop talking about it so much. We get it.
“[Dallas Cowboys player] Orlando Scandrick has been suspended four games [for using Molly].
“The point of it is, baseball… some of it through its own action, has contributed to the subject of PEDs being an overwhelming subject in baseball. We’ve got a testing policy. We’ve got a penalty policy. Let’s move on. Guy gets popped. He’s popped. He’s gone. Let’s go. Let’s not talk about it all the time. Let’s not make a big deal about it all the time. Let’s instruct our players and others not to make such a big deal out of it.
“When a guy gets suspended for 50 games and he comes back and signs a big contract somewhere else, let’s not have a lengthy national debate about it.
“We get it. We had a steroid problem. We’ve addressed it. We’ve addressed it more than all the other leagues have addressed it combined. Let’s get on with our day.”
I’m heavily conflicted about this advice.
Missing money: California officials hit with new pay cut because box offices aren’t calculated right
By Zach Arnold | August 14, 2014
With two lawsuits and a major Federal indictment alleging extortion of individuals trying to keep the California State Athletic Commission alive, you would think that Monday’s CSAC meeting in Los Angeles would have been a quiet affair. Instead, Executive Officer Andy Foster made a startling & troubling admission that has inflamed the core of officials who work as referees, timekeepers, judges, and doctors at Athletic Commission regulated combat sports events.
One of the major changes being proposed by Andy Foster is a change to the current tier system used to pay officials working shows. Roy Englebrecht, a famous California promoter, argued on Monday that the tier system is unfair.
“It’s always amazed me that no other pro sport pays their officials based on the hard work of the owners and the promoters and we’ve had it in year in and year out.”
The current six-tier pay scale for California official is as follows:
- $0-$10,000: Referees $200, Judges $150, Timekeepers $125
- $10,000-$20,000: Referees $275, Judges $200, Timekeepers $150
- $20,000-$30,000: Referees $300, Judges $225, Timekeepers $175
- $30,000-$75,000: Referees $450, Judges $325, Timekeepers $250
- $75,000-above: Referees $650, Judges $550, Timekeepers $275
- PPV events: Referees $1000, Judges $900, Timekeepers $500
The new proposed three-tier pay scale will look like this:
- $0-$49,999: Referees $350, Judges $300, Timekeepers $200, Doctors $550
- $50,000-$99,999: Referees $450, Judges $350, Timekeepers $250, Doctors $650
- $100,000-and-above: Referees $650, Judges $550, Timekeepers $300, Doctors $750
Additionally, changes are coming in the amount paid out to doctors working events. Also, boxing referees assigned to title fights will be working undercard bouts just like MMA referees do.
On the surface, these aren’t earth shattering changes that would provoke major outrage. However, the process in which this this new pay scale was formulated, who was behind it, and the reasons for why it is being implemented has set off the alarm bells.
By Zach Arnold | August 12, 2014
Last week’s logic: The brawl between Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones at the MGM in Las Vegas will be used as a weapon against MMA by critics.
Last week’s worries: “Did the feud peak too soon before the fight on September 27th?”
This week’s worries: The fight got postponed until January 3rd, 2015.
So much for the UFC being able to pad their 2014 PPV numbers. Not so much now. Now the company is scrambling to issue refunds to those who bought tickets but those refunds can only come from where consumers bought their tickets from.
Jon Jones, September, and Nevada do not mix. Jones got injured and so his fight got pushed back. Meanwhile, Alexander Gustafsson is rightfully saying that since the fight got pushed back due to his injury that he should step back in the front of the line. That ain’t happening, but he has a legitimate gripe. And Daniel Cormier is stuck on the sidelines for months. He’s now knocking Jones for backing out of the 9/27 date due to injury because Cormier was going to fight on a busted knee.
What a different one minor injury makes. UFC 178. 1 million buys to 100,000.
— FrontRowBrian (@FrontRowBrian) August 12, 2014
It’s been a really lousy year for UFC in Las Vegas outside of the Ronda Rousey fight, which in the end reportedly drew 500,000 buys on PPV. Vitor Belfort already blew up their May event there and he’s one more failed drug test away from blowing up their December show. The UFC will now be running three shows in Las Vegas in the time span of two months. Something has to give. One of those shows isn’t going to draw. Which one will it be?
It’s not the end of the world but having fights get canceled so often can shake the trust of the fans. Make no mistake, however… issues regarding domestic violence involving active fighters is a much bigger problem than any postponed or canceled fight. Domestic violence is a societal problem and not an MMA-exclusive problem but MMA is an ultrahazardous business that cannot afford to have that kind of stigma and crime associated with it in any way. Unacceptable.
By Zach Arnold | August 11, 2014
It is very interesting to watch WWE take shots at UFC’s programming value by essentially declaring that the repeat value of a pro-wrestling match is much more significant than the repeat value of watching an old UFC or boxing fight. I don’t doubt the power of watching old wrestling classics. I think a lot more of today’s wrestlers should be involved in tape study.
However, WWE is underestimating somewhat the value of re-airing old MMA and boxing fights. The Tuesday Night Fights re-branding lives on two decade after the franchise was ended by USA Network. Watch a Regional Sports Network and you’re bound to see some old Tuesday Fight Nights material. The same with boxing matches from the last few years. The UFC has turned the art of re-airing old fights into a cottage industry with the shows they aired on Spike and now on Fox Sports 1. Their DVD business isn’t hot but DVD biz isn’t solid unless you’re like Netflix. Fight Pass has done steady numbers so far, although fee increases in the future will sap the subscriber numbers. For all of the power of WWE’s tape archives, their Network subscriber numbers have reached a ceiling of around 700,000. The only hope they have is through international growth.
There is one thing that is not in doubt, however, and that is the appeal of combat sports mega stars in the television and movie business. The Rock is what everyone, including Ronda Rousey, aspires to be. Dave Batista. And you can certainly add Steve Austin and Randy Couture to that list.
Discovery motions will name informants, witnesses in alleged extortion of California State Athletic Commission
By Zach Arnold | August 8, 2014
There was a media circus Thursday afternoon in San Francisco at the District Court with a flood of status conference hearings involving California state senator Leland Yee, Chinatown figure Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow, Yee’s fundraising consultant Keith Jackson, and about 25 other individuals who were named in a superseding Federal indictment relating to all sorts of allegations from extortion to transferring ballistic missiles. Not exactly your garden variety criminal case.
Despite a gag order being enforced on both the prosecution & defense teams, there was quite a bit of procedural news that came out of Thursday’s court sessions. First, prosecutors are confident that many of the defendants will agree to plea deals and turn State’s evidence against the biggest fish in the case. The LA Times notes that there will be several trials involving the defendants rather than one large circus.
“Breyer concurred Thursday that the case must be split but postponed the decision until after all evidence is turned over and sensitive issues involving the wiretaps and identities of informants and agents are resolved.”
Let the discovery motions begin.
There will be a court hearing on Monday discussing wiretap evidence and it is expected that this evidence will be turned over to defense lawyers by the end of the month. The next court date after Monday’s meeting is expected to happen on November 12th, 2014.
There’s also a twist in the case: one of the FBI’s undercover agents was yanked from the Federal investigation due to allegations of $ misconduct. You don’t say.
Given Yee’s high-profile name and the interest in the case, there’s a pretty strong possibility that we will find out soon who exactly the Feds claim was targeted for extortion. Everyone wants to know who the Feds claim Yee & his fundraiser Keith Jackson were extorting in regards to an NFL team owner and individuals who wanted to keep the California State Athletic Commission alive.
Until this information is released via the courts, no proclamations can be made as to which individuals were allegedly extorted, who may be unindicted co-conspirators, and who may have been working for the Feds as informants. It would be reckless to make declarations right now when we don’t know all the facts of the case.
Given the fact that nobody on the outside-looking-in knows who was exactly targeted, there is only so much investigating you can do. However, the motive in the Federal indictment is very clear: money. We have been scouring through lobbyist disclosure records, political contribution records, and publicly-listed business relationships to try to figure out why Leland Yee & Keith Jackson allegedly thought they could score cash & connections from individuals who wanted to keep the Athletic Commission alive.
And this led us to carefully re-watch the video of a state senate committee meeting from April 29th, 2013 regarding SB309 — the bill that would extend the life of the Athletic Commission by two years. And given the claims made in the superseding Federal indictment, what we watched on video has raised some new & very intriguing questions.
By Zach Arnold | August 6, 2014
On July 29th, we wrote about a superseding Federal indictment in San Francisco naming disgraced California state senator Leland Yee, Yee’s fundraising consultant Keith Jackson, and famous Chinatown mobster Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow. One of the allegations in that Federal indictment is that both Yee & Jackson tried to extort money out of multiple individuals who wanted to make sure that the California State Athletic Commission was not sunsetted. Sunsetting the Athletic Commission would have allowed the Department of Consumer Affairs to regulate combat sports in hiding with zero transparency. This isn’t something that DCA would be unhappy about.
The indictment claimed that individuals related to CSAC and “the Mixed Martial Arts industry” were targeted by Yee & Jackson for extortion. Naturally, the next question we asked was whether or not the UFC was the target of the supposed shakedown. After all, the Fertitta Empire contributes a lot of money to California politicians and to Sacramento lobbying firm Platinum Advisors LLC for legislative affairs regarding the Athletic Commission, internet gambling, and tribal casinos. There are monied interests at stake.
The indictment from a grand jury relating to the Athletic Commission is based on Individuals A & B being allegedly approached by both Leland Yee & Keith Jackson in early March of 2013. The indictment claims that Yee was directing Jackson to solicit money from A & B to Keith Jackson Consultancy and to also solicit campaign contributions for Yee’s Secretary of State bid. The indictment was specific in noting that the Athletic Commission regulates “Ultimate Fight Championships.” UFC was the only promoter directly named for CSAC regulation.
In any sort of criminal indictment involving allegations of extortion, follow the money. That’s what we initially tried to do despite the fact that the indictment alleges that the individuals being extorted were supposedly told to pay Jackson rather than make a direct contribution to Yee initially. In our initial search of California contribution records, we discovered that Station Casinos LLC donated $1,500 to Leland Yee’s Secretary of State campaign in December of 2013. The Federal indictment claims that Yee’s extortion campaign over CSAC was from March of 2013 through December of 2013. Nine months.
As we soon discovered (in our August 2nd article), Leland Yee was gifted tickets by the UFC for their April 20, 2013 San Jose Arena event. This event took place nine days before an April 29th, 2013 Sacramento state senate meeting to discuss SB309, the Athletic Commission extension bill. The Federal indictment claims that Yee and Jackson were telling individuals A & B that he wasn’t going to vote for SB309 unless Jackson was supposedly paid for “heavy lifting.” At that April 29th, 2013 senate meeting, Yee wasn’t singing the praises of the Athletic Commission… but he was curiously singing the praises of Andy Foster.
After seeing this display of support, we decided to re-read the superseding Federal indictment one more time to make sure that we didn’t miss anything. It turns out that reading the indictment again has given us a new… perspective on how many people may have been supposedly targeted.
By Zach Arnold | August 4, 2014
Question: Why are they threatening this now when his booking for Metamoris was known when the meeting commenced to give him a two year ban?
Submission grappling is not regulated by athletic commissions. Dave Meltzer recently suggested that it should. But it currently is not. Any attempt by an athletic commission to stop a fighter from an activity that is not regulated by an athletic commission is begging for a lawsuit.
This is the classic case of an athletic commission with major image problems on the drug front now trying to bluff and over-step their bounds against a licensee. Even if Metamoris was an activity regulated by the California State Athletic Commission, it’s not MMA or boxing. The California State Athletic Commission collects money from WWE events but doesn’t actually regulate pro-wrestling. By Nevada’s standards, does this mean that if Sonnen went into WWE that he is somehow violating his two year ban in Nevada? What’s the difference between submission grappling and professional wrestling?
Basically what we have here is a threat from Nevada that whatever they do to Sonnen will be accepted by other state athletic commissions because somehow Nevada is the gold standard.
Timing is everything in life. Two days after the Brandon Rios/Diego Chaves debacle at the Cosmopolitan, we had a brawl with Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier. And Kirk Hendrick gave a stern statement.
Saw a great point. @JonnyBones just took stitches for a bad cut. What if that thing opened up? These guys are playing with fire.
— Josh Gross (@yay_yee) August 4, 2014
Exit remark: If Sonnen has to go to court in Nevada over any fines by the Athletic Commission, guess who’s going tor represent NSAC? The Attorney General’s office, which is next door to the Athletic Commission. Guess who is one of the lawyers? Keith Kizer.
By Zach Arnold | August 4, 2014
Event: UFC Fight Night on Saturday, August 16th in Bangor, Maine at Cross Insurance Center
TV: Fox Sports 1
- Middleweights: Tom Watson vs. Sam Alvey
- Welterweights: Seth Baczynski vs. Alan Jouban
- Ladies 135 pounds: Sara McMann vs. Lauren Murphy
- Flyweights: Jussier Formiga vs. Zach Makovsky
- Featherweights: Thiago Tavares vs. Robbie Peralta
- Heavyweights: Shawn Jordan vs. Jack May
- Lightweights: Fabricio Camoes vs. Gray Maynard
- Middleweight: Tim Boetsch vs. Brad Tavares
- Lightweights: Ross Pearson vs. Abel Trujillo
- Light Heavyweights: Ryan Bader vs. Ovince Saint Preux
Event: UFC Fight Night on Saturday, August 23rd at the Macao Venetian (Cotai Arena)
- Bantamweights: Yao Zhikui vs. Royston Wee
- Bantamweights: Elizabeth Phillips vs. Milana Dudieva
- Welterweights: Colby Covington vs. Wang Anying
- Bantamweights: Roland Delorme vs. Yuta Sasaki
- Welterweights: Sheldon Westcott vs. Alberto Mina
- Welterweights: Danny Mitchell vs. Wang Sai
- Featherweights: Jianping Yang vs. Ning Guangyou
- Lightweights: Brendan O’Reilly vs. Zhang Lipeng
- Welterweights: Tyron Woodley vs. Dong Hyun Kim
- Middleweights: Michael Bisping vs. Cung Le
Event: UFC Fight Night on Saturday, August 23rd in Tulsa, Oklahoma at the BOK Center
TV: Fox Sports 1
- Featherweights: Aaron Phillips vs. Matt Hobar
- Lightweights: Beneil Dariush vs. Tony Martin
- Lightweights: James Vick vs. Valmir Lazaro
- Flyweights: Tim Elliott vs. Wilson Reis
- Welterweights: Neil Magny vs. Alex Garcia
- Featherweights: Tom Niinimaki vs. Chas Skelly
- Featherweights: Max Holloway vs. Mirsad Bektic
- Welterweights: Jordan Mein vs. TBA
- Welterweights: Demian Maia vs. Mike Pyle
- Middleweights: Francis Carmont vs. Thales Leites
- Lightweights: Ben Henderson vs. Rafael Dos Anjos
Event: UFC 177 on Saturday, August 30th in Sacramento at Arco Arena
TV: Fox Sports 1/PPV
- Flyweights: Scott Jorgensen vs. Henry Cejudo
- Heavyweights: Ruan Potts vs. Anthony Hamilton
- Lightweights: Yancy Medeiros vs. Justin Edwards
- Heavyweights: Ruslan Magomedov vs. Richard Odoms
- Middleweights: Lorenz Larkin vs. Derek Brunson
- Lightweights: Ramsey Nijem vs. Carlos Diego Ferreira
- Lightweights: Danny Castillo vs. Tony Ferguson
- Ladies 135 pounds: Bethe Correia vs. Shayna Baszler
- UFC Flyweight title match: Demetrious Johnson vs. Chris Cariaso
- UFC Bantamweight title match: TJ Dillashaw vs. Renan Barao
An audio guide to the week that was the Federal indictment alleging extortion of California State Athletic Commission
By Zach Arnold | August 3, 2014
We wanted to create an audio summary for our readers to clear up any confusion about what last week’s Federal indictment (read it on the LA Times web site) involving disgraced California state senator Leland Yee means for fans who care about the regulation of combat sports.
The revised indictment in San Francisco alleges that Yee and his fundraising consultant Keith Jackson extorted individuals who were interested in keeping the California State Athletic Commission from being sunsetted into hiding under the auspices of the Department of Consumer Affairs. And the politicians being accused of extortion supposedly had ties to Chinatown mobsters.
It sounds like a remix of the movie Big Trouble in Little China. We wrote three articles about the indictment.
- July 29th, 2014: Feds allege Chinatown mob-linked pol extorted California State Athletic Commission for $
- July 30th, 2014: Was UFC the target of a shakedown by alleged Chinatown mob-linked pol over CSAC?
- August 2nd, 2014: Indicted senator Leland Yee was gifted tickets by UFC during time of alleged extortion of CSAC
Given the serious nature of the indictment, Jeff Thaler (@whaledog on Twitter) & I decided to do a Fight Opinion Radio show to break down the legalese. Jeff’s a lawyer and combat sports guru, which makes him the perfect person to explain in layman’s terms what the hell is going on.
Listen to our audio summary on the Federal indictment regarding the alleged extortion of the California State Athletic Commission. 37 minutes long, 17 MB file size. The direct download link is: http://www.fightopinion.com/podcasts/foradio-8-01-2014.mp3
Who are the key players in the Federal indictment? What would have happened if Leland Yee, running for Secretary of State in California, had not been arrested?
There will be substantial media interest in the revised indictment against Yee given that the indictment alleges a pay-for-play scenario with an anonymous NFL team owner to make sure that football players couldn’t apply for worker’s compensation in California. Because of this strong sports tie-in, we’re relatively confident that information regarding the Athletic Commission will surface.
The indictment reads like a mafia movie plot. What’s most interesting is that the indictment names all sorts of Undercover agents as informants but on the allegations regarding CSAC, we have Individuals A & B. How did those individuals end up being discovered by the Feds? Did they volunteer to talk to the Feds or did the Feds catch them during the alleged extortion process with wiretaps? Furthermore, if money allegedly changed hands between the Individuals and Yee/Jackson, whose money was used? Was it state money?
What happens if Yee & Jackson agree to a plea deal with the Feds? Will we find out who Individuals A & B are? What about a Pitchess motion for discovery or Brady disclosures?
What’s next for Andy Foster? The Florida Boxing Commission job was quietly filled behind the scenes by top DBPR attorney Paul Waters, replacing state auditor Cynthia Hefren. With no real major commission jobs open, ongoing DCA audits, and a Federal probe ongoing, how much stress & pressure is there on Andy to keep doing his job?
There are so many unanswered questions right now and this is the time to use some elbow grease to do some legitimate investigative work. I’m fairly confident that if several combat sports writers starting digging into this story that there is real news to be discovered for public consumption.
You can receive notifications about our latest audio shows any time by subscribing to our Feedburner link in your favorite podcasting program. We’ve had a really good streak of shows since returning from a five year hiatus. Lots of thought-provoking conversation to check out.
Indicted senator Leland Yee was gifted tickets by UFC during time of alleged extortion of California State Athletic Commission
By Zach Arnold | August 2, 2014
You may not be hearing much from other combat sports writers about the Federal indictment of California state senator Leland Yee and his supposed Chinatown mobster friend Shrimp Boy. But the updated Federal indictment from last week can be read by anyone. It’s a lengthy document, but you don’t have to be a lawyer to understand the charges being levied.
Any time you have a boxing manager being accused by the Feds of murder for hire, it’s worth a read.
When the Feds alleged that Leland Yee and his fundraising consultant Keith Jackson were allegedly extorting individuals wanting to keep the California State Athletic Commission from being sunsetted, the obvious first question everyone asked: who was targeted supposedly for extortion? The indictment lists Individuals A & B, although there could be more individuals. Nobody knows at this point in time. What made the indictment chilling was the fact that the timeline supposedly started from March of 2013 until the end of that calendar year. Andy Foster became the Executive Officer in November of 2012 and CSAC was allegedly a target for extortion a few months later.
From the indictment:
“Extorting individuals related to the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) and the Mixed Martial Arts industry regarding retaining the existence of the CSAC and its ability to regulate certain sports in California.”
Who from the MMA industry? We don’t know. But this line from the indictment struck us as odd:
The CSAC exercised licensing, regulatory, and disciplinary functions in connection with the operation of certain sports in California, including boxing, kickboxing, mixed martial arts, and Ultimate Fight Championship events. Without the extension provided for in SB309, the CSAC would become inoperative on January 1, 2014.
This led us to ask whether or not the UFC was the victim of a shakedown campaign. In my opinion, trying to extort the UFC is a foolish move. Especially if you are someone running for a state, not federal office. Excluding their efforts in New York, the UFC has a slick lobbying operation that has proven to be highly successful in states like California & Florida. They spread the wealth around legally with political contributions.
Lobbying data from Platinum Advisors LLC filings on CA Sec. of State web site
The indictment claims that Leland Yee, through consultant Keith Jackson, was allegedly asking Individuals A & B give money to Jackson in March of 2013 for his lobbying services and that there supposedly would be a scheme to rope in other promoters to contribute cash to Yee’s Secretary of State campaign. Theoretically, it’s much harder to publicly track money given to a consultant as opposed to making a political donation directly to a campaign.
Nonetheless, it’s important for reporters covering this indictment to follow the money even if the data is limited.
Was UFC the target of a shakedown by alleged Chinatown mob-linked pol over California State Athletic Commission?
By Zach Arnold | July 30, 2014
Yesterday was one of those days. Really. The kind of day where you write an article titled Feds allege Chinatown mob-linked pol extorted California State Athletic Commission for $. And you sit there and wonder about all of the unanswered questions. One can only imagine what it must be like right now to be on the inside of Consumer Affairs with a Federal indictment going public with such alarming allegations.
If you haven’t read our Tuesday article yet, go read it before you continue reading this article.
To catch up on what we wrote about yesterday: Disgraced California state senator Leland Yee, who had aspirations of becoming California’s next Secretary of State, was indicted by the Feds on a million different counts and those counts also involve high-profile members of the most powerful criminal organization in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Included in the indictment are allegations that Yee, along with his fundraising/consulting buddy Keith Jackson, supposedly extorted money from individuals who were trying to ensure passage in the state Senate of SB309, a bill that would prevent the California State Athletic Commission from getting sunsetted. CSAC getting sunsetted would have meant that Consumer Affairs would have taken all of their operations in-house with zero public disclosure and no transparency whatsoever.
The indictment claims that Yee and Jackson had meetings with two different people, Individuals A & B, who were looking to get the votes in the state Senate to keep CSAC up-and-running. The timing is important here. Andy Foster became the Executive Officer in November of 2012. The indictment claims that Yee and Jackson interacted with A & B in March of 2013. It seems likely that A & B will end up as witnesses for the major show trial involving Yee. Yee claims that he “did a number” on Individual A. Was Individual A really Andy Foster or someone from Consumer Affairs?
Let’s advance the story here from yesterday’s summary. In the Federal indictment, Yee is accused of a conspiracy to obtain property under the color of office. The filing claims that Yee & Jackson, from the time period of March 2013 through the end of December 2013, allegedly manipulated individuals who were trying to keep CSAC alive.
By Zach Arnold | July 29, 2014
Meet my little friend, Shrimp Boy.
In California political circles, the name of state senator Leland Yee sends chills down the spines of many. Yee, who was running for Secretary of State and was considered a very reliable Democratic state senator, got indicted on a million different charges in relation to various business dealings. And many of those dealings allegedly involve top members of Chinatown’s most powerful criminal organization.
It is shocking, given the gravity of the charges, how little national attention the indictment of Yee and Chinatown mobsters have gotten. However, it is the biggest California political scandal in decades and will produce the show trial of all show trials in Northern California.
And part of that updated indictment against Yee and Shrimp Boy last week includes allegations from the Feds that Leland Yee extorted the California State Athletic Commission in order to prevent the commission from getting sunset by the state Senate. The indictment introduces the Chinatown mobsters in this manner:
“The Chee Kung Tong, also known as “Gee Kung Tong,” also known as “Supreme Lodge Chinese Freemasons of the World,” also known as the “CKT”, was a predominantly Chinese American association based in Chinatown, in the City and County of San Francisco, whose members operated in the City and County of San Francisco and elsewhere, and whose activities affected other parts of the United States. The members of CKT primarily conducted their activities in the Bay Area, centered in the cities of San Francisco and Oakland.”
Yee, along with these mobsters, are charged on the following counts:
- Conspiracy to Conduct the Affairs of an Enterprise Through a Pattern of Racketeering Activity
- Money Laundering
- Dealing Firearms Without a License
- Illegal Importation of Firearms
- Felon in Possession of Firearm
- Manufacture and Possession with Intent to Distribute Narcotics
- Narcotics Conspiracy
- Possession of Firearm in Furtherance of Drug Trafficking Crime
- Trafficking in Contraband Cigarettes
- Murder for Hire
- Conspiracy to Obtain Property Under Color of Official Right
- Honest Services Conspiracy
- Honest Services Fraud
- Aiding and Abetting
So, how does the California State Athletic Commission, the Department of Consumer Affairs, and Andy Foster fit into the picture?