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Former Alaska lawmaker convicted of bribery, corruption

[JURIST] Former Alaska state Representative Tom Anderson [official profile] was convicted Monday on seven counts of bribery and corruption by an Anchorage federal jury. Anderson, a Republican, was accused of accepting nearly $26,000 he believed to be from private correctional facilities firm Cornell Industries, Inc. [corporate website] in exchange for Anderson's influence on then-pending measures on halfway houses. The deal was in fact arranged by an FBI informant inside Cornell who recorded incriminating conversations with Anderson and former lobbyist Bill Bobrick. Anderson's lawyers called the conduct entrapment, but an 11-person jury found him guilty on all counts, including extortion, bribery and money laundering.

Anderson and Bobrick were accused of conspiring to arrange payments to Anderson from a false website dedicated to legislative issues. Bobrick, who was charged and convicted on one count of bribery, faces up to two and a half years in prison. Bobrick has cooperated with government officials throughout the investigation and last week testified against Anderson [KTUU report]. Anderson's wife, Sen. Lesil McGuire [official profile], is also an Alaska state legislator; she was not accused of any wrongdoing. Three other Alaska state congressmen currently face federal bribery charges related to oil field services company VECO Corp [corporate website]. AP has more. KTUU has local coverage.

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