KETCHIKAN (AP) -- A U.S. District Court jury Wednesday found lobbyist Geoffrey Bullock guilty of three federal wire fraud charges. He was found innocent of two other charges.
A federal grand jury indictment in November accused Bullock of accepting $200,000 from two Russian investors to start a joint venture, but then spending the money for his own purposes.
According to prosecutors, in July 1997, the Russian investors transferred $200,000 by wire into an account controlled by Bullock after he persuaded them he could use the money to convince the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly to loan up to $4 million to the fish-exporting venture.
Bullock maintained he spent the money on expenses essential to completing the deal with the Russian investors.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Crandon Randell said Wednesday he was pleased with the outcome of the trial, despite the split verdict. The jury found Bullock guilty of count one, the main issue in the trial, Randell said.
Defense attorney Louis Menendez disagreed with the verdict.
''Mr. Bullock is innocent of all charges, in fact, was the victim of fraud and deceit,'' Menendez said.
U.S. District Court Judge Robert Bryan scheduled sentencing for Sept. 5 in Ketchikan. Bullock remains free on bail.
Bullock is registered with the Alaska Public Offices Commission as a lobbyist for the Alaska State Medical Association, Alaska Physicians and Surgeons, Southeast Alaska Pilots Association and the city of Ketchikan.
Peninsula Clarion ©2014. All Rights Reserved.