Special to HarpBlaster.com News Wire
WASHINGTON – Beverly L. Masek, a former elected member of the Alaska House of Representatives, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to commit bribery, Acting Assistant Attorney General Rita M. Glavin of the Criminal Division announced.
Masek, a Republican, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Ralph Beistline in Anchorage to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds. In court documents, Masek admitted to conspiring with Bill J. Allen, the former chief executive officer of VECO Corporation (VECO), a now-defunct multinational oil field services company, and Richard L. Smith, a former VECO vice president, to soliciting and accepting bribes.
Masek admitted that in 2003 she received cash payments from Allen and solicited a consulting position with VECO in exchange for agreeing to perform and actually performing official acts that benefitted Allen and VECO’s business interests. Allen and Smith both pleaded guilty to multiple federal corruption charges in May 2007 and both are awaiting sentencing.
Masek faces a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing has been scheduled for May 27.
Including Masek’s guilty plea and those of Allen and Smith, there have been 11 criminal convictions to date arising out of the ongoing investigation into public corruption in the state of Alaska. Thomas T. Anderson, a former elected member of the Alaska House of Representatives, was convicted in July 2007 and sentenced to five years in prison for extortion, conspiracy, bribery and money laundering for soliciting and receiving money from an FBI confidential source in exchange for agreeing to perform official acts to further a business interest represented by the source.
Peter Kott, a former speaker of the Alaska House of Representatives, was convicted in September 2007 and sentenced to six years in prison for extortion, bribery and conspiracy.
Victor H. Kohring, a former elected member of the Alaska House of Representatives, was convicted at trial in November 2007 for attempted extortion, bribery and conspiracy, and was sentenced to three and a half years in prison. In March 2008, James Clark, chief of staff to a former governor of Alaska, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit honest services mail and wire fraud. Former Anchorage lobbyist William Bobrick pleaded guilty in May 2007 to felony public corruption charges.
U.S. Sen. Theodore F. Stevens, a Republican, was convicted at trial on Oct. 27, 2008, of making false statements regarding his required U.S. Senate financial disclosures for 2001 through 2006. Former Alaska businessman William Weimar was sentenced to six months in prison on Nov. 12, 2008, after pleading guilty on Aug. 12, 2008, to conspiracy to commit honest services mail and wire fraud and structuring financial transactions.
John Cowdery, a former elected member of the Alaska State Senate, was sentenced to six months home confinement and a $25,000 fine on March 10, 2009, after pleading guilty on Dec. 19, 2008, to conspiring to bribe another Alaska state legislator.