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Don Young's Former Aide Pleads Guilty To Corruption

April 27, 2007

Washington, D.C. - A former aide to Alaska Republican Rep. Don Young, Mark Zachares, has pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges.

A former aide to Alaska Republican Rep. Don Young, Mark Zachares, has pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges.

The Justice Department has filed a criminal information on Zachares, laying out the details to the crimes to which he admitted to.

Zachares was a lawyer on Young's Transportation Committee staff between 2002 and 2005.

Zachares, faces a two-year prison term under a deal with the government requiring him and his wife, Cynthia, to cooperate in the ongoing corruption probe that has already jailed a dozen cohorts.

The conspiracy was allegedly carried out as part of a two-year plan hatched by the pair. In one case, in e-mails communicating his desire to secure a job at homeland security, Mr Zachares told Mr Abramoff he could really "make things happen" if he got a job at the US agency.

The 10-page Justice Department document filed in the case says that Abramoff and his lobbying team supplied Zachares with tickets on more than 40 occasions from August 2002 to February 2004.

In early 2002, Zachares accepted $10,000 in wire transfers from Abramoff through a nonprofit foundation the lobbyist controlled, the document states.

In return, Zachares referred clients and provided a number of favors for Abramoff's various clients.

The criminal information document not implicate Don Young, but it does mention that in 2002, Abramoff "assisted Zachares in obtaining his position as a staffer on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee," which Young chaired.

Young is currently under at least three separate criminal investigations.

Congressman Young's office did not return repeated phone calls from AlaskaReport.com seeking comment.

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