Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Corrupt Bastards Club Orchestrator, Paymaster, And Superstar Snitch Bill Allen Gets Three-Year Wrist Slap In Anchorage From Federal Judge John Sedwick

The chief orchestrator and paymaster of what has become known as the "Corrupt Bastards Club" finally got justice of sorts on October 28th, 2009, although it was a wrist slap compared to what he actually deserved.

The Anchorage Daily News reports that the former owner of Veco Corp., Bill Allen, has been sentenced to three years in prison and fined of $750,000. Allen accepted a deal to plead guilty to bribery, conspiracy and tax charges more than two years ago and agreed to become the key witness in a string of high-profile corruption trials against several former Alaska lawmakers. Allen will not actually report to prison until it is determined where he will serve his time. The judge recommended either Sheridan, OR or Tucson, AZ to be close to his family.

Additional Alaska media outlets picking this up and publishing original stories include KTUU Channel 2, the Alaska Dispatch, the Anchorage Daily Planet, and KTVA Channel 11. Another KTUU story highlights reaction by other Alaska lawmakers. Also discussed on the AlaskaCorruption blog. Direct link to KTUU video HERE.

In a related story, former VECO vice-president Rick Smith was sentenced to 21 months in prison, fined $10,000, and also sentenced to three years probation after completion of imprisonment. Smith accepted a deal to plead guilty more than two years ago to the same charges as Allen: bribery, conspiracy and tax violations.

U.S. District Judge John Sedwick acknowledged that Allen's cooperation with the long-running Federal investigation was a mitigating factor in sentencing. Under Federal sentencing guidelines, Allen could have received 33 to 41 months in prison. Federal prosecutors recommended 46 months in prison. Allen was fighting to delay sentencing up to the very last minute under the pretext that he was needed to "testify in other cases", but when Judge Sedwick offered prosecutors the opportunity to seek to delay Allen's sentencing, they declined.

Links to all previous ADN stories on the Corrupt Bastards Club can be found on this page. Read a simplified overview of the key figures and events in the Alaska corruption investigation HERE.

Bill Allen is one of the more loathsome and disgusting characters on the Alaska political landscape. He was the primary orchestrator and financier behind the entire Alaska corruption scandal. Without him, there would be no Corrupt Bastards Club. Allen directly corrupted a veritable Who's Who of Alaska Politics, including Ted Stevens, Pete Kott, Vic Kohring, Bruce Weyhrauch, John Cowdery, and Ben Stevens (never indicted). Even Congressman Don Young is now under fire because of alleged association with Allen. The culture of corruption spawned by Allen indirectly corrupted Beverly Masek and Tom Anderson.

In addition, there are unsubstantiated allegations that Bill Allen pursued sexual relationships with two underage girls. Anchorage police continue to investigate claims by one of the women, who said she had sex with Allen when she was 15. The other woman said she was 19 and working as a prostitute in the mid-1990s when Allen asked her to be his steady date, but she also claimed she observed him having sex several times with 15-year-old girls. One of the investigators, Anchorage Police Sgt. Kevin Vandegriff, said the Allen sexual abuse case remains active but wouldn't comment further. Allen has denied these allegations.

In short, Bill Allen was a consummate predator, a great white shark swimming amongst smaller barracudas. Yet instead of going after and turning the barracudas to get the shark, the Feds turned the shark to get the barracudas. Thus we are faced with the specter of Bill Allen, the orchestrator and facilitator, getting a shorter prison sentence than Pete Kott, who was merely a player. While Allen's victims clearly bear their share of responsibility for looking for opportunities, Allen bears the greater responsibility for providing them.

A three-year sentence for Bill Allen is an insult, a wrist-slap. I don't care if he is 70 years old; he deserves a much longer sentence. Ten years would be about right. And a KTUU poll shows 54 percent of respondents do not think Bill Allen got a fair sentence.

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