Bill Allen, the government’s chief witness in its case against former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, was sentenced to three years in prison on Wednesday, the Justice Department said.
Allen, 72, was also ordered to pay a $750,000 fine and given three years of supervised release. Allen is the former CEO of VECO Corp., an oil services company. He pleaded guilty in May 2007 to charges of conspiracy, bribery, extortion and honest services mail and wire fraud.
Allen’s lawyer, White & Case partner George Terwilliger III, argued that no more than a six-month sentence was warranted, owing to Allen’s cooperation in a wide-ranging corruption investigation that eventually enfolded the longest-serving Republican in the Senate. The Justice Department had asked for a prison sentence of 46 months.
A former vice president of VECO, Richard Smith, 64, was also sentenced on Wednesday to 21 months in prison and was ordered to pay a $10,000 fine.
The Justice Department says Allen and Smith conspired with at least five members of the Alaska legislature to provide other state officials with financial benefits in return for their support on pending legislation. They also admitted to giving out about $395,000 to public officials in connection with the scheme.
A federal judge set aside Stevens’s 2008 conviction at Attorney General Eric Holder’s request. A department review found instances in which prosecutors improperly withheld information from Stevens’ defense team, including statements Allen made to federal investigators before the trial. U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan appointed a special counsel,Henry Schuelke III, to examine whether prosecutors did so intentionally.
That investigation, as well as probe by the department’s Office of Professional Responsibility, is ongoing.