LONDON (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Phil Anschutz's gifts to British Deputy Prime Minister James Prescott have been reported to the US Department of Justice under laws that ban American businessmen from attempting to bribe foreign officials, the London Times has reported.
Anschutz's AEG is currently bidding on a so-called "Supercasino" to be built at the Millennium Dome in Greenwich. The plans include a 23,000 seat auditorium, a 350 room hotel and an 11 screen cinema in addition to the possible casino.
According to reports, Mr. Prescott, who's bailiwick includes redevelopment, was given the alleged gifts during a visit to Anschutz' Colorado home din 2005.
The gifts included a Stetson hat, spurs, a belt buckle and a leather bound notebook, worth an estimated 600 dollars. Prescott reportedly did not keep the gifts, instead turning them in to his department.
After Scotland Yard declined to pursue the matter, it was brought to the attention of the US DoJ by George Bathurst who is the head of a nursery security firm.
While gifts accepted by officials in Britain must be demonstrated to be innocent by the official, a loophole in British law puts the burden of proof on the prosecutors when the gifts are accepted while abroad.
Prescott would not directly be responsible for decisions on the casino in any case, instead that duty falls to Tessa Jowell, the Culture Minister and an independent advisory panel. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers