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Disgraced senator who campaigned against violent video games jailed

Leland Yee guilty of corruption and gun-running charges.

Former US State Senator Leland Yee has been sentenced to five years in prison on charges of corruption and weapon smuggling.

Yee, during happier times.

You may remember Yee as being a vocal opponent of video game violence - he campaigned for tighter restrictions around the sale of games and a state-backed ratings board to replace the current US-wide ESRB.

Yee admitted political corruption charges - accepting bribes for favours - and involvement in a never-completed plan to smuggle guns into the US from the Philippines.

The shamed ex-senator had served 25 years in office as a Democratic representative for California. In office, he had campaigned for better US gun control.

When arrested, Yee had been attempting to raise funds for his bid to become California's secretary of state, and to pay off debts from a failed mayoral campaign before that.

Yee's trial is part of a far wider FBI investigation into the San Francisco-based Chee Kung Tong group. Outwardly a community organisation for Chinese American interests, its leader Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow and 28 others are now being investigated on charges of organised crime.

"Shrimp Boy" was jailed last month for murder and other mob-related crimes.

Yee was originally due to face other charges - of participating in racketeering, selling guns without a license and agreeing to join a murder-for-hire plot suggested by an undercover FBI agent, CBS reported. These charges were dropped when Yee plead guilty to corruption.

"I don't feel I can be lenient," US District Judge Charles Breyer told Yee. "The crimes you have committed were essentially an attack on a democratic institution.

"You did it for money for the perpetuation of power. That to me is the most venal thing." Game over.

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Tom Phillips

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Tom is Eurogamer's deputy editor. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon.


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