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Justice Department indicts Sen. Ted Stevens

July 29th, 2008 Posted in Breaking News

NBC News and news services

WASHINGTON – Sen. Ted Stevens, the longest-serving Republican senator and a figure in Alaska politics since before statehood, was indicted Tuesday on seven counts of failing to disclose thousands of dollars in services he received from a company that helped renovate his home.

Stevens, the first sitting U.S. senator to face federal indictment since 1993, has been dogged by a federal investigation into his home renovation project and his dealings with wealthy oil contractors.

The investigation has upended Alaska state politics and cast scrutiny on Stevens — who is running for re-election this year — and on his congressional colleague, Rep. Don Young of Alaska, who is also under investigation.
Prosecutors said Stevens received more than $250,000 in gifts and services from VECO Corp., a powerful oil services contractor, and its executives.

From May 1999 to August 2007, prosecutors said, the 84-year-old senator concealed “his continuing receipt of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of things of value from a private corporation.”

Home goods, improvements probed
The indictment unsealed Tuesday says the items included: home improvements to his vacation home in Alaska, including a new first floor, garage, wraparound deck, plumbing, electrical wiring; as well as a Viking gas grill, furniture and tools.

He also was accused of failing to report swapping an old Ford for a new Land Rover to be driven by one of his children.

Justice Department said Stevens will not be arrested and will be allowed to turn himself in.

Stevens has adamantly denied any wrongdoing but he said little else publicly about the investigation.

Messages left at both Stevens’ Senate office in Washington and his campaign office in Anchorage were not immediately returned. His attorney also did not return calls.

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