Former VECO Corp. CEO Bill Allen admitted Friday to using company funds to pay some of the construction costs associated with Sen. Ted Stevens’ (R-Alaska) home remodeling project as well as using a small number of company employees to do the work.
Allen, testifying in federal court as part of a state-level bribery case, also said he gave Stevens furniture for the home. Additionally, Allen admitted to paying Stevens’ son, Ben, $4,000 a month while the younger Stevens served in the state Senate.
Ted Stevens’ attorney, Brendan Sullivan, did not return a call seeking comment Friday.
Although Sen. Stevens has acknowledged VECO’s involvement in the home remodeling in the past, he has insisted the company’s role was limited to reviewing bills from contractors. He repeatedly has stated that he personally paid outside contractors for the work done on the house.
FBI and IRS agents raided Stevens’ Girdwood, Alaska, home — where the work was done — earlier this year as part of a massive federal investigation into state and federal corruption in the state. The Girdwood raid came as part of the government’s probe into the longtime Senator’s relationship with Allen and VECO, an oil-services giant that has long been a major player in Alaska politics.
FBI and IRS agents, along with officials from the Departments of Interior and Commerce, also are conducting several other inquiries involving Stevens, his son and Trevor McCabe, Ben’s former business partner and a former aide to the elder Stevens.
Allen — who pleaded guilty this spring to federal charges of bribery and corruption — is cooperating with federal officials in a series of cases currently under way in Alaska against former state legislators. During his testimony Friday in the case of former state Rep. Pete Kott (R), Allen said his and VECO’s involvement in the Girdwood remodeling went well beyond a review of bills.
“I gave Ted some old furniture … I don’t think there was a lot of material. There was some labor,” Allen said, according to The Associated Press, adding that between one and four VECO employees worked on the house for up to six months in 2000. Allen also admitted to visiting the work site every month or two.