Released Anderson sting tapes unveil the federal case

Lisa Demer

More than a month after former state Rep. Tom Anderson was found guilty of bribery and other corruption charges, the prosecution has released the secretly recorded conversations used to convict him.

A federal jury convicted Anderson, an Anchorage Republican, on July 9 of bribery, extortion, money laundering and conspiracy. Several jurors said afterward that Anderson’s own words were the strongest evidence against him.

The Daily News and KTUU Channel 2 sought copies of the recordings and other exhibits during the trial but didn’t get them at that time. The news organizations then went to court. Negotiations began with prosecutors. The records were released Aug. 23.

The recordings were made by the FBI. A government witness, former Cornell Cos. consultant Frank Prewitt, wore a wire. The recordings, along with witness testimony, gave jurors a picture of a scheme in which Anderson took bribes to do Cornell’s bidding. The plan was for a Cornell Cos. lobbyist, Bill Bobrick, to create a sham political newsletter or Web site that would be used to funnel money to Anderson.

Anderson’s sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 2.

Here’s a quick guide to some of the key conversations:

July 21, 2004

Audio recording. Bobrick and Prewitt meet at Southside Bistro in Anchorage to discuss how to get money to  Anderson. In exchange, Anderson would “be our boy in Juneau,” Bobrick tells Prewitt.

July 28, 2004

Video of meeting at the Whale’s Tale in the Hotel Captain Cook between Anderson, Prewitt and Bobrick. Anderson’s hands are in view. When asked about his credentials to do work for Cornell, the first thing he mentions is that he is a legislator. Jurors asked for the recording  to be replayed during their deliberations.

Nov. 16, 2004

Video recording of meeting between Anderson and Prewitt in Anderson’s legislative office in Anchorage. Anderson acknowledges to Prewitt that he knows Cornell really isn’t interested in a political newsletter. “You want votes in the Legislature, I would assume,” Anderson says.  He also says he doesn’t want to split the next payment with Bobrick. They discuss Anderson testifying the next day at a public hearing on a juvenile treatment center that Cornell needed state approval to open.

Dec. 21, 2004

Video recording of meeting between Anderson and Prewitt at the Whale’s Tale. Prewitt brings two checks, one made out to Anderson’s consulting firm directly. “That is perfect,” Anderson says.

Feb. 16, 2005

Video recording of a dinner at the Baranof Hotel in Juneau that includes Prewitt, Anderson and then-state Rep. Lesil McGuire. At the time, McGuire and Anderson were dating. They since have married, and McGuire has been elected to the state Senate. McGuire tells Prewitt, “Don’t forget, I’m going to stay right up on you boys” to make sure Cornell offers rehabilitation. At one point, McGuire is distracted by a side conversation. Anderson takes the opportunity to tell Prewitt that McGuire doesn’t know about his relationship with Cornell.

Find Lisa Demer online at or call 257-4390.

FBI investigation overview
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