Former Young Aid Sentenced

Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC

A former aide to Alaska Congressman Don Young was sentenced Monday for taking money in exchange for information from corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Mark Zachares pleaded guilty in 2007 to taking gifts from Abramoff and his associates in exchange for insider intel.  At the time he was working for Representative Young on the House Transportation Committee.  Monday, he was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 12 weekends in jail, four years probation, 200 hours community service and fines totaling $4,000.

Zachares’s sentence had been delayed because he was working with federal investigators to try and trap bigger fish, but a prosecutor told the judge Monday he’s no longer needed.

Court documents show that Zachares helped the FBI in their investigation after he was busted, turning over information about two Congressman federal officials won’t name.

Last week Representative Young refused to comment to APRN about Zachares’s case and who the Congressmen might be. No charges are being brought because of Zachares’s information, but prosecutors say it was good.  They’re blaming the high amount of evidence needed to bring corruption charges against elected officials.

This summer the U.S. Supreme Court limited the scope of what’s called the “Honest Services Law,” which is used to prosecute corrupt officials and executives.

Zachares used to live in Alaska, where he attended the University of Alaska Anchorage and played on the school’s basketball team.  He could’ve been sentenced to up to two years in prison.

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