WASHINGTON – A former Alaska business owner was sentenced today to six months in prison on public corruption charges, Acting Assistant Attorney General Matthew Friedrich of the Criminal Division announced. Chief U.S. District Judge John W. Sedwick for the District of Alaska also ordered William Weimar, 68, to serve six months of home confinement, two years of supervised release following his prison term and to pay a $75,000 fine.
On Aug. 12, 2008, Weimar pleaded guilty to a two-count information charging him with conspiracy to commit honest services mail and wire fraud and structuring financial transactions. In court documents, Weimar admitted to conspiring with a candidate running for an elected position in the Alaska state legislature, the owner of a company that provided consulting and advertising services to the candidate, and others by illegally paying the consultant approximately $20,000 in 2004 for expenses incurred by the candidate's campaign.
Weimar admitted that he, the candidate and the consultant agreed to make these payments in a way that concealed the payments and deceived the public. Weimar also admitted that he manipulated and structured the illegal payments to avoid currency reporting requirements for financial institutions under federal law.
Weimar admitted to making the payments to secure the candidate's election to the Alaska state legislature, to deprive the public of the honest services that the candidate would provide as a state legislator, and to gain the candidate's official support for legislation that would benefit Weimar's ongoing financial interest in a private prison project.
To date, there have been nine criminal convictions arising out of the ongoing investigation into public corruption in the state of Alaska. On Oct. 27, 2008, U.S. Senator Theodore F. Stevens was convicted of seven counts of making false statements following a jury trial in the District of Columbia. Stevens is awaiting sentencing. 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. Four other individuals, including two executives of VECO Corporation and James Clark, the chief of staff to a former governor of Alaska, have pleaded guilty to felony public corruption charges. John Cowdery, a current member of the Alaska State Senate, was indicted on July 10, 2008, and is awaiting trial.
The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Nicholas A. Marsh and Edward P. Sullivan of the Public Integrity Section, headed by Chief William M. Welch II, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph W. Bottini and James A. Goeke from the District of Alaska. The ongoing investigation is being led by the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigative Division.