Disgraced politician Leland Yee gets five years in prison

"Haunted" former senator who crusaded against the games industry found guilty of corruption

Leland Yee has been sentenced to five years in prison, the presiding judge condemning the former California State Senator for doing, "serious, serious injury to a governmental institution."

During his time in politics, Yee was a frequent and fervent critic of the game industry, who used his power and influence to attempt to tighten regulations around the sale of video games in the US.

Yee was arrested on public corruption charges in May 2014, the result of a long process that started in with an FBI investigation into crime in San Francisco's Chinatown about five years before. Ultimately, Yee was exposed for exchanging his political clout for bribes. According to a report from the San Jose Mercury, that included an NFL team and a medicinal marijuana startup.

Yesterday, US District Judge Charles Breyer sentenced Yee to five years in prison, rejecting his pleas for leniency on the grounds that his crimes constituted a, "violation of the public trust."

"The crimes that you committed have resulted in essentially an attack on democratic institutions," Breyer said. "This is a serious, serious injury to a governmental institution."

A visibly emotional Yee admitted feelings of shame for the decisions he made, while also accepting full responsibility. "That will haunt me the rest of my life," he said.

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Latest comments (8)

Andreia Quinta Photographer, Studio52 LondonA year ago
Nothing worse than [corrupted] suits in high positions of power. Good riddance.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Andreia Quinta on 25th February 2016 1:28pm

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Petter Solberg Freelance Writer & Artist, A year ago
Two words: Poetic justice
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Axel Cushing Freelance Writer A year ago
Five years, probably out in three, doing time in a minimum security prison. He'll be back. If Marion Berry could get re-elected as mayor of D.C. after a drug bust, Lee could very likely be running again around 2020.
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Paul Jace Merchandiser A year ago
As part of his jail sentence they should tell him he has to beat the Nes versions of Battletoads, Ninja Gaiden 1-3 and Ghost and Goblins(no cheat codes allowed). If he can't beat them during his initial sentence he should get an additional 5 years tacked on....for each game he can't beat.
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Peter Ridgway Technical Art Director, Microsoft / RareA year ago
He did have some sensible points in his criticism of game ratings and as with many things, there is always room for improvement. But the aggressive stance he took seemed more about "peacocking" and self promotion that trying to actively engage with the issue. I don't like gloating, but I think its only right to have a bit of a smirk, He pockets bribes whilst complaining that the games industry is derogatory to society... tut tut.
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Gary LaRochelle Digital Artist / UI/UX Designer / Game Designer, Flea Ranch GamesA year ago
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! A year ago
@Paul: Better yet: they should stick a Donkey Kong machine in his cell and let him have at it. I think that game would break anyone who thinks it looks simple to beat...
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Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing A year ago
Interesting, you still trust his hate of video games to have been honest. I don't, the picture clearly shows his gamer credit by at least holding up three violent games instead of a trucking simulator, a bootleg copy of Mike Tyson's Tetris and a Bob Ross DVD. Then again, I sometimes wonder whether cavemen had discussions about the youth corrupting properties of cave paintings depicting violent acts, so take that deduction with a grain of salt.
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