BRISPEC sting operation

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The Bribery and Special Interest (BRISPEC) sting operation was a sting operation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation investigating corruption in the California State Legislature from 1986 to 1988. 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 law makers in exchange for favorable legislation to the front company. A couple of the bills were actually passed by both the Assembly and Senate, but were vetoed by Governor George Deukmejian, who was tipped off in advance.

The operation sent Board of Equalization member Paul B. Carpenter to prison. In addition to Carpenter, three members of the state legislature also spent jail time: Pat Nolan, who was the minority leader at the time of the raid, as well as State Senators Joseph Montoya and Frank Hill.

Speaker Willie Brown and Assemblymember Gwen Moore were also targeted by the operation, but emerged unscathed. Brown had a $1000 campaign contribution shoved under his door returned to the donor. Moore's office was raided as part of the sting operation, but she was eventually acquitted of any wrongdoing.

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