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Bay Area briefs
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FORMER SANTA CLARA POLITICIAN FACING NEW CHARGE : SAN JOSE  (AP) — A longtime California politician convicted of using campaign donations and taxpayer funds to fuel what he described as a gambling addiction has been charged in a separate case involving an illegal campaign flier, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Former Santa Clara County Supervisor George Shirakawa was charged with false impersonation after authorities said his DNA matched DNA found on a stamp used on the flier sent during a city council race in 2010.

If convicted of the new charge, he could face a maximum possible sentence of three years in prison.

The flier appeared to be from the campaign committee of Magdalena Carrasco, the candidate it attacked, authorities said.

Carrasco was running against Shirakawa's former aide, Xavier Campos, in the race.

The flier connected Carrasco to Vietnam and showed the flag of that country, which is considered offensive to many members of San Jose's Vietnamese community, particularly those who escaped the communist regime, prosecutors said. Carrasco lost the election.


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A U.S. immigration official convicted of accepting kickbacks for falsely saying candidates passed their citizenship tests was sentenced to 38 months in prison, the U.S. attorney's office said.

Abdulaziz Khalil is expected to begin serving the sentence — handed down Tuesday — in August.

Khalil was a district adjudication officer with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in San Francisco. From 2003 through 2008, he recruited applicants for U.S. citizenship and took money from them in exchange for assurances that they would pass required citizenship tests demonstrating knowledge of English and the U.S. Constitution, federal prosecutors said.

PETALUMA MAN FACES 135 COUNTS IN PONZI SCHEME: SANTA ROSA  (AP) — A judge has determined there is sufficient evidence to try a Petaluma real estate agent in connection with an alleged Ponzi scheme that prosecutors say bilked more than $20 million from mostly elderly investors.

The 72-year-old Aldo Baccala is charged with 135 counts including grand theft, securities fraud and elder financial abuse.

Prosecutors allege that Baccala raised millions of dollars by promising his more than 50 investors annual returns of at least 12 percent on loans for purchasing nursing homes, a mushroom farm and a car wash.

JUDGE SAYS ACCUSED MAN EXAGGERATED MENTAL ILLNESS: REDWOOD CITY  (AP) — A judge has concluded that a man charged with beating and trying to rape a student in a San Francisco Bay Area motel room exaggerated symptoms of mental illness and has ordered the case to proceed.

Prosecutors said 47-year-old Maurice Banks was faking when he said he was hearing voices and seeing hallucinations.

Prosecutors say Banks climbed through a window into the young woman's Redwood City hotel room in December 2010.

Banks is accused of punching the woman so hard her eye sockets cracked, then strangling her until she passed out.

When she awoke, her pants were down and Banks demanded oral sex. She fled when he looked away.

The woman had rented the hotel room to have a quiet place to study.