Former Democratic Assemblyman Bruce E. Young of Norwalk Thursday was indicted by a federal grand jury on 28 counts of mail fraud stemming from his dealings with convicted political corrupter W. Patrick Moriarty and a Los Angeles cable television firm.
Young, 40, now a successful Sacramento lobbyist, is the first person linked to the Legislature to be indicted in the 2 1/2-year-old graft and corruption case involving Moriarty. He is the 12th person to be indicted in the ongoing joint federal and Orange County Moriarty investigation.
Each of the counts against Young, who is scheduled to be arraigned on Sept. 8, carries a maximum penalty of five years and a $1,000 fine.
The offenses involve the filing of financial disclosure statements concerning payments he received while a lawmaker. Young did not seek reelection to the Legislature in 1984, shortly after the Moriarty investigation began, saying that he wanted to spend more time with his family.
During the time Moriarty and the cable firm, Falcon Communications, were giving him payments, according to the indictment, Young was actively backing controversial legislation that would have financially benefited both interests. Falcon is not charged with any wrongdoing.
"Falcon Communications is not under investigation," said chief Assistant U.S. Atty. Richard E. Drooyan, who is in charge of the case.
Drooyan, declining to comment further on the indictment, would only say that "the investigation is continuing."
The indictment said Young "used his official position as a member of the California state Assembly to vote for, support and influence other legislators to vote for" separate legislation backed by Moriarty and the cable company.
Young could not immediately be reached for comment.
Don Heller, Young's attorney, said his client was "shocked and disappointed" at the indictment.
"I have a lot to say down the road and a lot to tell the jury down the road," Heller said when reached on vacation in Hawaii.
Young, the indictment alleged, was involved in two separate business deals at the time he was voting on legislation affecting the interests of the fireworks manufacturer and the cable television company. The indictment also accuses him of participating in a campaign money-laundering scheme.
Solicited Campaign Funds
The Times earlier reported that Moriarty received a 1982 letter on Young's stationery soliciting $18,500 in contributions for six Democratic Assembly candidates on behalf of Assembly Speaker Willie Brown (D-San Francisco).
The contributions were given to the candidates by Young and other individuals who were secretly reimbursed by Moriarty, but the candidates said they were unaware of the laundering scheme.
Beginning in April, 1981, Young "received and accepted various payments and benefits" from Moriarty and Falcon, the indictment said. Moriarty's business interests were entirely separate from the Falcon case.
According to the indictment, for 16 months in 1981 and 1982, one of Moriarty's companies, Casa del Amo Estates of Carson, made the lease payments on a black Ford Bronco with a musical horn for Young who, it is alleged, did not properly disclose the payments as required by law.
Young also allegedly failed to properly disclose seven payments, mostly in 1982, from Falcon Communications to his consulting firm, Young Thinking. A Falcon spokesman earlier told The Times that Young was a marketing consultant who helped Falcon try to win a cable contract in Los Angeles County. A company official said Young was paid about $10,000.
In 1979 and 1982, Young successfully carried legislation on behalf of the cable industry that extended the right of cable television operators to set subscriber rates.
Accused of Using U.S. Mail
Young was indicted on federal mail fraud charges because he is accused of using the U.S. mail as part of a scheme to violate state laws on campaign contributions and personal financial disclosure.
Of the other 11 indicted in the ongoing Moriarty probe, one was acquitted and 10, including Moriarty, either pleaded guilty or were convicted of crimes stemming from Moriarty's use of payoffs to public officials and kickbacks to bankers. Moriarty currently is serving a seven-year federal prison sentence.
Young was elected to the Assembly in 1976.
Since his resignation from the Legislature, Young has been a successful Sacramento lobbyist.
Through the years, a close relationship developed between Young and Moriarty, 55. Young helped Moriarty obtain passage of a controversial fireworks bill and Moriarty leased the Bronco for Young, and according to a variety of sources, provided him with prostitutes and arranged for him to use vacation homes in Utah, California and Hawaii.
Their acquaintance goes back to at least 1978 when Moriarty invited the then-Assemblyman Young to invest in the Bank of Irvine, an independent Orange County bank that Moriarty had co-founded in 1974.
Closed by Government
The Bank of Irvine has since been declared insolvent and closed by the federal government.