Brian Joseph

Investigative Reporter & Writer

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How lawmakers turned a perk into profit

WEST SACRAMENTO – After long days of representing Orange County residents at the state Capitol, Assemblyman Van Tran returns here, to a gated community where he lives with wife and kids in a 2,658-square-foot house with two fireplaces and a three-car garage.

Tran’s wife and two young children call this place home. His wife has declared this her principal residence for tax purposes. But this isn’t Tran’s “home.”

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Buyer beware: All is not as advertised at Asian antiquities dealer

A rare glazed tile from the Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 220), for sale for $900. An elegant blue vase from the Song Dynasty (A.D. 960-1120), $3,800. An exquisite tricolor jar from the Tang Dynasty (A.D. 618-907), $12,000. An elaborate bronze elephant from the Warring States Dynasty (475-221 B.C.), $120,000.

To the eyes of tourists and window-shoppers, the gallery’s wares may seem striking in their age and beauty. To the eyes of experts, however, they are something quite different.

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