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Ex Alaska Official Pleads Guilty on Corruption

(CN) - A former member of the Alaska House of Representatives has admitted she solicited bribes from the head of VECO Corporation, bringing up to 11 the total number of Alaskan politicians who have been convicted in an ongoing investigation into corruption in the northernmost state.

Beverly Masked pleaded guilty in an Anchorage district court to conspiracy to commit bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds.

As a former member of the Alaska House of Representatives, Masek conspired with Bill Allen, the CEO of VECO Corporation, and Richard Smith, a vice president with the company, to trade public policy acts that benefited their company in exchange for bribes and a consulting position with VECO, according to the Justice Department.

Masek faces up to five years in jail and $250,000 in fines. She will be sentenced on May 28th.

Along with convictions of State Representatives Thomas Anderson and Victor Kohring, and US Senator Ted Stevens, Masek's plea will up Alaska's tally to 11 criminal convictions arising out of an ongoing investigation into public corruption in the state.

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