Allen sex crime probe reopened

Posted: Monday, February 04, 2008

ANCHORAGE - Anchorage police have reopened a case over alleged sex crimes by Bill Allen, the former head of the oil services company VECO and the federal government's key witness in an ongoing political corruption probe.

Authorities are looking into whether Allen had sex with an underage girl in the mid-1990s, the Anchorage Daily News reported on Sunday. Sexual abuse of a minor has no statute of limitations.

The investigation had started initially in 2004 in connection with another case involving a sex and drug ring run by Josef Boehm, said Detective Kevin Vandegriff, who worked with federal investigators on the Boehm case.

Federal prosecutors asked Anchorage police to suspend the investigation shortly after it began, he said.

Assistant U.S. attorney Frank Russo said he asked Vandegriff to suspend the investigation of Allen, who is now 70, because the Boehm case was complex.

"We said, 'Hey, why don't we put this aside until later. We have enough to focus on,"' Russo said.

In an interview with the Daily News in October, Vandegriff wouldn't name any alleged victim. He said Allen was not a direct subject of the Boehm investigation.

He also said the evidence of wrongdoing on the part of Allen has been contradictory and inconclusive.

Allen pleaded guilty in May to bribing Alaska lawmakers. Once the chairman and an owner of the former oil field services company VECO Corp., he was forced to sell the company and faces a long stay in prison.

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