Sunday, August 17, 2008

CREW tracks Senator Ted Stevens Prosecution

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Government:
15 Aug 2008

Federal prosecutors have begun to lay out details of their corruption case against Sen. Ted Stevens, alleging in new court documents that the Alaska Republican failed to disclose a $31,000 interest-free loan on his Senate financial disclosure forms.

In a court filing on Thursday, government lawyers say Stevens “made over $100,000 in gross profit on an initial investment of $5,000” in a deal “which was facilitated by a $31,000, interest-free loan from a personal friend that Stevens never reported on his 2001 Senate Financial Disclosure Form.”

Prosecutors also provided further details on the relationship between Stevens and Bill Allen, the former CEO of VECO, the Alaskan oil services company that prosecutors say provided gifts and services that Stevens did not disclose. Allen provided a free backup generator for Stevens’s home, for instance, as well as gifts and services for Stevens’s children and grandchildren — all at Stevens’s request, according to prosecutors.

Stevens’s attorneys, Brendan Sullivan and Rob Cary of Washington, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Stevens was indicted on July 29 by a federal grand jury on seven felony counts of filing false financial disclosure statements to conceal $250,000 of gifts and services for his Girdwood, Alaska, home from VECO.

Stevens is fighting the charges and has asked that the trial be moved to Alaska, where he is campaigning in the Aug. 26 GOP primary and potentially the November general election. He has been granted an expedited trial schedule that could deliver a verdict before the election.
The interest-free loan was carried by Stevens for 10 months in 2001 but not reported on his financial disclosure form for that year, government attorneys say. The loan allowed Stevens to pay only $5,000 of a $36,000 deposit for a Florida condominium, with the remainder paid by a personal friend — “Person C,” in the filing. When the condo was sold just six months later, Stevens netted $103,000 after taxes.

The government on Thursday also detailed e-mails between Stevens and a friend “that demonstrate Stevens’s consciousness of guilt concerning the conduct charged in the indictment.”

In the first e-mail, written the day after FBI agents raided Stevens’s Girdwood home, Stevens wrote: “Press releases say the FBI served a warrant in Girdwood??? Did they hit our house? T.” Later in the day, Stevens again wrote: “Have you been by the Chalet? Teds.”

On May 17, 2007, Stevens twice e-mailed a friend who had been subpoenaed to testify before the grand jury in the case, prosecutors say in their filing.

“In the first e-mail, Stevens told Person A that 'I hope we can work something out to make sure you aren’t led astray on this occasion.' In the second, Stevens was more explicit: 'don’t answer questions you don’t KNOW the answers to.' ”

CREW has listed several sites with additional information about the Ted Stevens indictment and investigation on it's website:

**Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting ethics and accountability in government and public life by targeting government officials -- regardless of party affiliation -- who sacrifice the common good to special interests. CREW advances its mission using a combination of research, litigation and media outreach. CREW employs the law as a tool to force officials to act ethically and lawfully and to bring unethical conduct to the public’s attention.

CREW's Top Ten Ethics Scandals of 2007:

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