Washington, D.C. – July 30, 2008 – The U.S. Department of Justice has charged Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens with seven counts of failing to disclose and receiving more than $250,000 in gifts and services from VECO Corp. on his Senate financial disclosure forms, instead of charging the senator with more difficult-to-prove bribery charges, according to Frank C. Razzano, a partner with the Pepper Hamilton law firm’s Washington office (www.pepperlaw.com) and a former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey.
“The indictment suggests that Sen. Stevens received and accepted solicitations for multiple official actions while concealing the gifts. That suggests bribery,” said Razzano, who handled political corruption and mail and wire fraud cases while Assistant U.S. Attorney from 1975-1978 and has 35 years of civil and criminal jury trial experience, concentrating in securities litigation, broker-dealer regulation, SEC enforcement, and white-collar criminal defense..
“Bribery charges could have been brought in Alaska, where the investigation has been centered. Instead, an indictment for false statements was brought in Washington, D.C. This suggests that the government did not believe it could prove bribery, or that difficult speech and debate clause privilege issues under the U.S. Constitution stood in the way. So, the Department of Justice appears to have elected to pursue easier-to-prove charges in Washington, D.C., a jurisdiction that is notorious for holding politicians’ feet to the fire,” said Razzano.
Razzano has also served as Assistant Chief Trial Attorney with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, where he tried “cooked books” and “pump and dump” cases.
Recent cases he has handled include obtaining an acquittal in a criminal insider trading case; a judgment after trial dismissing an SEC cease-and-desist proceeding against the managing director of a major bank involving late trading and market timing; and a dismissal of a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) disciplinary proceeding against the CEO of a major broker-dealer. He also has represented executives of Fortune 500 companies in grand jury investigations and SEC investigations.
Razzano joined Pepper Hamilton in 2008 from Dickstein Shapiro LLP in Washington, where he had been a partner since 1996. He is a frequent news commentator, and has appeared on CNN, CNNfn, CBS, Fox and CNBC regarding SEC enforcement and white-collar crime.
To interview Frank Razzano, contact:
Buchanan Public Relations
(610) 649-9292 X 102
For a bio of Frank Razzano, see:
About Pepper Hamilton
Pepper Hamilton LLP (www.pepperlaw.com) is a multi-practice law firm with more than 500 lawyers in seven states and the District of Columbia. The firm provides corporate, litigation and regulatory legal services to leading businesses, governmental entities, nonprofit organizations and individuals throughout the nation and the world. The firm was founded in 1890.