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Ex-Oil Executive Ties Young to Alaska Corruption Case

A former Alaska oil executive told the Justice Department that his company provided gifts and paid for fundraising events for Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), the first testimony directly tying Young to a long running corruption case in the state.

The oil executive, Bill Allen, was a prime witness in the case against former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens (R). Allen testified that he and his oil company, VECO, spent tens of thousands of dollars providing Stevens with gifts, including major renovations of Stevens’ home.

Allen has pleaded guilty to bribery charges and he is scheduled to be sentenced next week. In preparation for his sentencing, his defense team released documents including a 2007 summary of “stipulated facts,” in which Allen confessed to “additional criminal activity.” In that agreement, Allen said that form 1993 to 2006, he and another VECO executive “authorized the use of VECO funds to pay for the annual expenses associated with a yearly fundraiser for United States Representative A.” Young was during that time and remains the only U.S. Representative from Alaska.

According to the document, each year of the annual event, the VECO executives “arranged for the purchase of catering expenses, liquor, equipment rentals and other associated costs for a fundraiser ... these expenses were paid using VECO’s corporate funds, and amounted to approximately $10,000 to $15,000 each year. The total monies paid by VECO for these fundraisers thus totaled approximately $130,000 to $195,000.”

The document also alleges that in 2006, Allen paid about $1,000 for a set of golf clubs that were given as a gift to Young.

Young’s financial disclosure report for 2006 does not indicate that he received a gift that year.

Members of Congress are required to disclose gifts they have received on their annual financial disclosure forms. Stevens was found guilty by a jury of failing to report gifts from Allen and others, but his conviction was overturned because of the Justice Department’s repeated failure to turn over to Stevens evidence that could have been useful in his defense.

Young’s spokeswoman did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment and his lawyer did not respond to a telephone call. The Anchorage Daily News reported that Young refused to comment on the allegations when asked about them in Alaska on Thursday.

Young has not been charged with any wrongdoing.

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