The Association of U S West Retirees



Anschutz gifts bring federal complaint
A London businessman cites U.S. bans on bribes in his protest of hospitality given a British official.
By The Associated Press
Denver Post
Friday, October 20, 2006

London - A businessman has complained to the U.S. Department of Justice about gifts a Colorado billionaire gave to British Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, a news report said Thursday.

A parliamentary ethics panel gave Prescott a mild rebuke in July, saying he should have immediately disclosed his stay at the ranch of Philip Anschutz, the American tycoon who is bidding to open a casino at London's Millennium Dome site.

But it said Prescott had "acted correctly" in belatedly declaring the visit, and recommended no further action.

The Times newspaper said George Bathurst, a businessman based in Windsor, outside London, had reported the hospitality and gifts Anschutz gave Prescott to the Justice Department under laws banning U.S. businesses from attempting to bribe foreign officials.

A call by The Associated Press to a number listed as Bathurst's went unanswered Thursday.

Prescott was widely criticized for initially failing to declare his stay with Anschutz, who also gave him a cowboy outfit.

He says he has met twice a year with the oil, media and transport billionaire who has taken over the vast Millennium Dome, an enormous exhibition space built for the 2000 New Year's celebrations.  Anschutz is seeking a license to operate a casino there, but Prescott says the two never discussed that issue in their meetings.