Condo Deal, Favors Outlined in Stevens Documents
Justice Department officials yesterday provided another look at the evidence collected against Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, who was indicted last month on seven counts of falsely reporting hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts.
The original indictment accuses Stevens, 84, of concealing payments of more than $250,000 in goods and services from VECO, an oil company with substantial business in Alaska. The items include home improvements, autos and household items
The new revelations show a direct line of communication from Bill Allen, VECO's founder, to Stevens, writes The Associated Press' Matt Apuzzo. "When Stevens needed a new generator for his house, a car for his daughter or a job for his son, prosecutors say he called VECO, the same company that oversaw an extensive renovation project on his home," Appuzzo reports.
Prosecutors outline a close Allen-Stevens connection:
In 2001, Stevens and his wife agreed to pay $360,000 for a Florida condo. Prosecutors say Stevens owed $36,000 for the down payment, or 10 percent, but only paid $5,000. An unnamed partner in the condo development company -- also a personal friend of Stevens -- put up the remaining $31,000 as part of an interest-free loan on Stevens' behalf, according to court documents. Six months later, Stevens sold the condo for $515,000. After he repaid the loan, the longtime senator netted more than $100,000.
Prosecutors also outline another vehicle purchase that doesn't add up. In 1999, Stevens traded in a 35-year-old Mustang worth $20,000 for a 1999 Land Rover Discovery worth $44,000, a deal negotiated by Allen. The vehicle went to Stevens's daughter Lily, then 18.
New information reveals that Stevens went to Allen six years later for help with another deal: In 2005, a VECO employee sold Stevens's daughter a new $35,000 Jeep Grand Cherokee for $13,000 in cash and her old car, which was worth about $9,000. The new car was delivered to Berkeley, Calif., where she attended law school, according to the Anchorage Daily News.
In March 2006, government investigators intercepted a phone call in which Stevens sought a job for one of his sons through a lobbyist and Allen. One of Steven's sons got the job, along with a personal loan, and a grandson was paid by VECO to attend technical school.
Stevens, who is up for reelection in November, has repeatedly denied the allegations against him. "I am looking forward to this trial as a way of finally showing the truth -- that I am innocent," he said in a statement last month.
Yesterday, Stevens accused the Justice Department of infringing on the independence of Congress, arguing that the corruption case against him should be thrown out.
By Derek Kravitz |
August 15, 2008; 6:00 PM ET
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