Friday, February 19, 2010

Perata’s Friends Targeted by the FBI

By Robert Gammon
Fri, Feb 19, 2010 at 9:58 AM

Agents with the FBI, the IRS, and the Secret Service raided the Concord offices yesterday of the Seeno Family, one of the East Bay’s most prominent developers and influential powerbrokers, the CoCo Times reports. The Seenos, who run a construction and suburban homebuilding empire, also have been good friends over the years with Oakland mayoral candidate and former state senator Don Perata. In fact, the Seeno family, led by Albert Seeno Jr., has donated at least $131,400 to Perata and campaigns associated with him since 2000.

The Seenos also have a tight relationship with Perata’s close friend Ed DeSilva, the East Bay’s preeminent road builder, and himself, a developer. The Seenos partnered with DeSilva to build hundreds of townhomes in the former Leona Quarry in the Oakland hills — a project that Perata championed in the early part of the last decade.

It’s unclear what evidence the feds are seeking about the Seeno family. But the inclusion of the Internal Revenue Service and the Secret Service would lead one to believe that the investigation involves possible financial corruption and tax evasion. The Seeno family also is part owner of the Peppermill Resort and Casino in Reno, Nevada, but the feds’ investigation does not appear to extend to their gambling interests. It's also unclear whether the investigation into the Seenos extends from the five-year federal probe of Perata, himself, although there is no indication that the Seeno family played a prominent role in that case

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