WASHINGTON, July 29 (UPI) -- Sen. Ted Steven, R-Alaska, was indicted Tuesday for allegedly lying on his Senate financial disclosure forms, the U.S. Justice Department said.
A federal grand jury in Washington indicted Stevens on seven counts of making false statements on the disclosure forms from 1999-2006, Matthew Friedrich, acting assistant U.S. attorney general, said in a news conference.
Stevens, the longest serving Republican senator in U.S. history, is accused of receiving "substantial amounts of materials and labor" from oil services contractor VECO Corp. in the renovation of his home in Alaska, Friedrich said. In addition, Stevens allegedly received furniture, household goods and, in an automobile exchange, received "new vehicle worth far more than" the vehicle he swapped.
The worth of the materials and services is "greater than $250,000," he said.
In 2004, the FBI began investigation into public corruption in Alaska, Friedrich said. To date, the investigation resulted in seven convictions, including Alaska state lawmakers and VECO officials.
Friedrich said Stevens' attorney was notified earlier Tuesday.
"It is my understanding he will be allowed to turn himself in," Friedrich said.
When asked about political sensitivities of election-year indictments, Friedrich said Attorney General Michael Mukasey issued a memo that politics was to play "no part in either in what charges we bring or the timing of the indictment. That policy has been followed to the letter in this case."